Bible Verse of the day

´╗┐The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? : Psalm 27: 1

Azuwa Mariam
Hiruy Simie

Azuwa Mariam church was built during the reign of Atse Amde Seyon (Zion) in the 13th century.  This church has not been made by hewing a living rock. The surrounding groves that had been planted at that time attest old the age of the church. Azuwa Mariam is located on a peninsula at the shores of lake Tana.

The church is built in the traditional circle structure which is the most common type in Ethiopia. The interior is built with huge planks of wood which had been well shaped and curved for the purpose. These huge planks have been split out of termite resistant planks. Therefore, they are one of the most important relics which have survived adversity of the ages. The room of the kedest (room before the holy of holies) has eight doors and windows. Moreover, the holy of holies has three doors and windows. The roof has been attached with the wall using the hides of four hundred oxen. The key of the door as well as the ark was brought from Egypt by Abune Yohannes (see the details on Abba Yohannes from the article Ura kidane Mehiret on this site).
Azuwa is known for its beautiful church paintings that adorned its walls. The ‘kidist’ specially has its roof and walls well adorned with paintings that depict stories from the Old and New Testament. These wonderful paintings had been painted during the 15th century. The paint used by the artists and their choice of different colors shows their skill and ability. The paintings are made on canvases, which is a material used today world wide. This shows how our forefathers had introduced and advanced the science of art before the enlightenment of the whole world. They are also Pioneers by being able to paint on canvas and lather (Brana) parchment. The paints used by the artists are also a wonder since they remained intact without fading all these centuries.
Azuwa Mariam had served as the center of church art education for many centuries. Many great Ethiopian artists used to go there to meet and discuss on issues regarding art. Many churches got paintings done on their walls through the artists residing in this church. Therefore, the contribution of this church for Ethiopian art is very great. There are also many relics worth seeing in this church. Today, most important service that is demanded of us is to preserve these priceless relics. Laities of the EOTC who are working in UNESCO can do a lot to this end in cooperation with Mehabere Kidusan.

Glory to God and holy Mary. Amen.
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