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St. George Church, carved from solid rock in the shape of a cross

The Church of St. George (Amharic: Bete Giyorgis ?) is a monolithic church in Lalibela, Amhara Region, Ethiopia. It is the most well known and last built (early thirteenth century) of the eleven churches in the Lalibela area, and has been referred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".[1] The dimensions of the complex are 25 meters by 25 meters by 30 meters,[2] and there is a small baptismal pool outside the church, which stands in an artificial trench.

According to Ethiopian cultural history, Bete Giyorgis was built after King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the Zagwe dynasty had a vision in which he was instructed to construct the church; Saint George[3][4] and God[1] have both been referred to as the one who gave him the instructions.

As of 2006, Lalibela is still a pilgrimage site for members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church; the church itself is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela".[5]

See also

Bete Giyorgis from above, one of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.


  1. ^ a b "Lalibela:The Eighth Wonder of the World". Tzu Chi Foundation. Retrieved 10 November 2006.  
  2. ^ "Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela". Sacred Destinations. Retrieved 10 November 2006.  
  3. ^ "The recording of Bet Giorgis". GIS Development. Retrieved 10 November 2006.  
  4. ^ "Ethiopia". L.B. Associates (Pvt) Limited. Retrieved 10 November 2006.  
  5. ^ "Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela". United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 10 November 2006.  

External links

Coordinates: 12°01′53.85″N 39°02′28.13″E / 12.031625°N 39.0411472°E / 12.031625; 39.0411472



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