Virtual Exhibition Brings Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches to Addis

ADDIS ABABA – A three-dimensional virtual exhibition showing the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela has become open for visitors.

The 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of the 13th century are situated in a mountainous region in northern Ethiopia.

The 3D virtual exhibition has now allowed visitors in Addis Ababa to tour the world heritage site at the Entoto Fine Arts Center.

Entitled ‘Lalibela Carving Faith’, the organizers say it displays the archeology and Scenography of the rock-hewn churches through virtual reality.

Tourism Minister Nasise Chali said the implementation of innovation and digitalization in tourism helps to promote historical, social, and cultural values.

The minister has invited both local and foreign tourists to visit the exhibition and have a unique tour experience of the churches in 3D.

Lalibela rock-hewn churches administration, Tourism Ethiopia, and the French embassy in Ethiopia are among the organizers of the exhibition.

French Ambassador to Ethiopia, Remi Marechaux said the exhibition “is the first of its kind in all of Africa.”

“This exhibition is also unique in digital dimension,” Ambassador Remi said.

“This 3D experience taking the measurement to billion points inside the churches provides for visitors a visual reality which is closer – even more accurate than you can do at any visit inside.”

The virtual show, launched on Oct 7, will remain open for public visits free of changes for two months.

Begun in the 12th century by King Lalibela, the complex of 11 Rock-Hewn Churches was among the first cultural sites to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978.

Lalibela still serves as a spiritual center for Ethiopian Christians, attracting hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year.

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