We explore the "Northern Cluster" of Lalibela's rock hewn churches on this page, by Northern Cluster, we mean the grouping of Churches north of the River Jordan.
The Northern cluster comprises of the following churches, 5 in total;
- - Biete Maskal (House of the Cross)
- - Biete Denagel (House of Virgins)
- - Biete Golgotha Mikael (House of Golgotha Mikael)
- - Biete Medhani Alem (House of the Saviour of the World)
- - Biete Mariam (House of Mary)
These Northern churches are from what we were told, are older than the southern cluster and the workmanship shows that to be true (ish).
It is almost as if the workers honed their skills here and when they were perfected started to work on the southern churches. The rock cuttings are not as smooth and the angles are not 100% correct, but that being said the clusters does offer up an equally good experience.
Not to be missed here is the "pathway to hell", a 32-metre tunnel carved into the rock with no lighting, the tunnel is small if you are over 5.10 foot in height and rather daunting because it is so damn dark in there. But when you reach the end you can climb the stairs to heaven.
One needs to allocate at least half a day to properly explore these 5 churches.
All photographs have been taken by us here at Uyaphi.com with the sole purpose of showcasing the northern cluster of rock-hewn churches in Lalibela.