Emekina Medhane Alem
(Redeemer of the world in Makina)
Mekina Medhane Alem is a built up cave church; the decorated interior displays geometric patterns and many old paintings. The church was built in the 6th century. Although an example of Axumite wood and stone construction, the church exhibits a unique modification: polished wall sections of leveled-off rubble between layers of dressed blocks of reddish tuff.
You can admire the portrayals of saints as well as the sun and the moon symbols above the main entrance. A lovely little picture of fighting cocks next to the sun gives a glimpse into the interest of the painter for details.
The views on the way are truly breathtaking.
Gennata Maryam can be reached from Lalibela either by one hour's drive or 7h hike (one way) Gennata Maryam is a true monolithic rock church on a high plinth.
Unlike the Lalibelan churches which are hidden in their pits, this church is not surrounded by the walls of a trench; you can see it from far away - a block of pink tuff in the midst of green euphorbia's and opuntias. Like MEDHANE ALEM it has a colonnade of rectangular pillars. There are fine reliefs of Latin crosses in blind arcades on the top of the 'pitched' roof. In the interior the rich painting displays a style which might be described as "archaic". Authorities claim that they originate from the 13th century, the probable period of creation for that church. The range of colours is limited: brown, ochre, green and a shining light blue. Motifs include saints from the Coptic synaxarium as well as angels, the sun and the moon and crosses of various shapes that we find so often in this area.
PLEASE NOTE: this trek is very challenging and we have to say only for people who think they are really fit!