There are at least nine UNESCO World Heritage sites in Ethiopia that complement Africa’s ancient creations. They include;
- Simien National Park
- Lower Valley of the Awash
- Lower Valley of the Omo
- Fasil Ghebbi
- Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town
- Konso Cultural Landscape
Simien National Park
Located in Amhara Region is Simien Mountains National Park, one of the first sites to be included in the list of World Heritage Sites in 1978. The park has spectacular landscape and it also plays host to some extremely rare animals that are endemic to Ethiopia such as the Gelada baboon, the Simien fox and the Walia ibex.
Lower Valley of the Awash
The Lower Valley of Awash is found in Afar Regional State. Tremendous findings are registered in the area in search for human origin and evolution. The most spectacular discovery of Lucy paved the way for more achievements in the study of human origin. The Lower Valley of Awash was included in the list of World heritage sites in Ethiopia in 1980.
Aksum is the legendary birthplace of the Queen of Sheba, which allegedly houses the Ark of Covenant. The place was also once the permanent capital city of Ethiopia until the 18th Century. It was listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site since it covers the remains of an influential city of ancient Ethiopia. The ruins include stelae, tombs, castles and obelisks.
Lower Valley of the Omo
The discovery of many fossils in Omo valley, especially Homo gracilis, has been of fundamental importance in the study of human evolution. The Omo Lower Valley was inscribed to a list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1980.
Lalibela Town is situated north of Addis Ababa. The town is surrounded by 11 remarkable rock-hewn monolithic churches, believed to have been built by KingLalibela in the 13th Century. The magnificent rock hewn Lalibela churches act as a pilgrimage for worshipers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. These churches were declared world heritage sites in Ethiopia in 1978.
South of Addis Ababa, 160 archaeological sites were discovered in Tiya at Soddo Town. It also has monuments and carved stelae showing unique symbols. The place holds undetermined age of mystery and ancient Ethiopian culture registered as world heritage. The enigmatic configuration and script of up to 5 metres sculptured stelae, represents the expression of the Ethiopian ancient settlers.
Another heritage site in Ethiopia is the Fasil Ghebbi located in the Amhara State, inNorth Gondar. It consists of the remains of a fortress-city that was the residence of the Ethiopian emperor Fasilides and his successors. Fasil Ghebbi was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town
Harar is a fortified historic town situated in the eastern part of Ethiopia. The town is characterised by deep gorges surrounded by desert and savannah vegetation. Harar has a distinct architectural character with a prominent wall surrounding the city. The presence of 99 mosques made Harar be considered the Fourth Holiest City in Islam next to Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. It was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2006
Konso Cultural Landscape
Konso Cultural Landscape was declared a World Heritage Site in 2011. Its declaration was because of its unique cultural significance of terracing agricultural practice. There are also several carved wooden statues used to mark the grave of a famous Konso tribal member.