About a 90-minute drive from the town of Lalibela and driving through totally magnificent scenery one finds a church that is built inside a cave. Yemrehanna Kristos dates back to 1100 to 1200 AD period in Ethiopia's history; some say this church predates even the rock hewn churches of Lalibela itself.
The drive there and back is slow yet scenic as one passes villages and churches with a scattering of shepherds every now and again.
The steep walk up to Yemrehanna Kristos and the cave is quite rough on the old lungs because of the altitude, but stopping to get your breath back every few minutes or so and one is rewarded with a rather interesting find.
Inside the cave, a beautiful church presents itself, built the traditional way (not like the churches of Lalibela) this church is laid out on a foundation of Africa Olive Wood. While the main structure is a combination of wooden and granite struts. Once inside the church, it is the wooden ceiling that is spell binding - the attention to detail is extraordinary.
The strangest part of the cave is the area where there are 1000's of mummified human bodies just lying behind a fence. I must say it is a rather strange experience looking at all the dead; they seem to have been just stacked on top of each other.
The small village where you park the vehicle is a great spot to buy a cool drink or water when you get back to the vehicle - nothing like supporting the local community I say.
If you are staying in Lalibela for a few nights. It is so well worth the effort to visit Yemrehanna Kristos for the scenery alone, never mind what you are going to find in the cave itself.
All photographs have been taken by us here at Uyaphi.com with the sole purpose of showcasing the church and area around Yemrehanna Kristos.