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Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa overview

Addis Ababa, the present capital of Ethiopia is a beautiful city set at the foothills of Mount Entoto which was founded in 1887 by Emperor Menelik II. The name Addis Ababa means ‘New Flower’ and it was given to the city by Menelik’s wife, Taitu.

Addis enjoys a beautiful climate, and the city is rich with monuments and landmarks that tell the story of this sprawling African city referred to as the Diplomatic Capital of Africa

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Addis Ababa means ‘New flower’ and the name was given by Queen Taitu, wife of Emperor Menelik II who founded the city in 1887. Set at the foothills of Entoto Mountains, the Ethiopian capital city is a big, sprawling metropolis often described as the ‘Diplomatic Capital of Africa.’ The city’s landscape is dotted with impressive buildings and iconic monuments contrasted against mud huts and traditional homes. A stroll from Meskel Square to Sidest Kilo affords you a chance to see buildings such as the Africa Hall built in 1961 by Emperor Haile Selassie, National Museum, Addis Ababa University, and the Holy Trinity Cathedral. St. George Cathedral which was commissioned by Menelik II to commemorate his 1986 victory over the Italians at Adwa is another impressive landmark in the city. Outside the cathedral’s main gates and close to City Hall is Menelik II Square which has an imposing statue of the emperor. Meyazia 27 Square which is widely referred to as Arat Kilo is another important spot. The famous Lion of Judah Monument stands in the square in front of the train station, while west of the City Hall further down the hill on the road to Merkato district is Abune Petros Square with an impressive statue of the martyred bishop. Several other buildings such as Red Terror Museum, Anwar Mosque, Shengo Hall, Medhane Alem, Hagir Fikir Theater, Railway Museum, Roman Catholic Cathedral of Nativity, Jubilee Palace, and Menelik’s Old Imperial Palace are interesting must see places in the city.
Food and Drinks in Addis Ababa
Food is relatively cheap in Addis. The famous local staple is injera and can be found in most local restaurants. Cakes and coffee cafés are plentiful in the city, offering coffee, tea and fruit juice. There are excellent Italian restaurants and other continental restaurants serving various dishes. Italian cuisine is popular. Apart from coffee, tej which is brewed from honey is the national drink and you can get a taste from most of the local restaurants and bars. Tela is another local brew worth a try. However, you can always get vintage wine and spirits from the restaurants, bars and clubs.
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