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Axum

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Africa : East Africa : Ethiopia : Axum
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Axum is a city in Ethiopia.

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Ethiopian legend has it that the famous Church of St. Mary of Zion in Axum is the repository of the Ark of the Covenant. Axum is equally, if not more, mysterious for the seven monolithic stelae fashioned out solid granite. The biggest monolith (and the largest in the world), measures over thirty-three meters (108 feet) and weighing about 500 tons.

Read more and see fine pictures at www.realethiopia.com

The adherents of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian faith make yearly pilgrimages on Hidar 21 (November 30) to the famous Church of St. Mary of Zion (also known as Axum Tsion), not an ordinary church this one! Ethiopian legend has it that the Church is the repository of the Ark of the Covenant (the subject of the controversial The Sign and the Seal), which is said to have been stolen (with God's will) from the temple of Jerusalem by Menelik I, Solomon?s own son by the legendary Queen of Sheba. Unfortunately, for visitors, the chamber in which the Ark is secreted away is not accessible to anyone, including, even the Ethiopian emperors.

Axum is equally, if not more, mysterious for the seven monolithic stelae fashioned out solid granite. Their mystery lies in that it is not known exactly by whom, and for what purpose, they were so fashioned.

The biggest monolith (and the largest in the world), measuring over thirty-three meters (108 feet) and weighing about 500 tons fell at some period in the past, and now lies in broken fragments on the ground. The second largest Stella, which measured 24 meters (78 feet) high, had also fallen and was stolen by the invading forces of Fascist Italy and token to Rome, where it stood, from 1937 to 2005, when it finally returned to Ethiopia. http://www.realethiopia.com

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