Takahiro Sanda Photography

旅フォトグラファー 三田崇博(さんだたかひろ)  オフィシャルページ









第二グループには聖エマニュエル教会や聖ガブリエル、聖ラファエル教会などがある。 聖エマニュエル教会は第二グループの教会群の中で最も美しいと言われていて、岩盤を掘り下げて造られた教会だ。聖ガブリエル、聖ラファエル教会はかつてラリベラ王宮があった場所で、この教会の脇には「天国への道」があり、そこを登ると天国へ行けると信じられていたという。


Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela

登録区分 文化遺産

登録基準 1,2,3

登録年 1978年





Lalibela Cave Churches (Ethiopia)

Cavern churches in Lalibela that christians are said to have created as the second Jerusalem.

It has been a pilgrimage site for centuries and is one of the holiest sites in Ethiopia after Aksum.

There are 12 churches in the Lalibela churches. They were built between the 12th and 13th centuries by King Lalibela’s order  to “make it the second Jerusalem.”

The largest church in the first group where the main churches is gathered is the Church of St. Savior. It is built by digging through a monolith in a cave church and has a length of 33.7m, a depth of 23.5m, and a height of 11.5m.There was a protective cover on top of the church.

It felt like a combination between the Ellora ruins in India and the Petra ruins in Jordan.When I saw Ellora, I thought it was amazing to think of creating a church like this from a monolith.

In addition to the first group of churches, there is St. George’s Church, which is famous for the shape of a cross. This church is also made by digging into monoliths, and is said to symbolize Noah’s Ark as a whole, and is also called “Noah’s Ark”.

Also, In the church of St Mary, you can’t see the frescoes of pillars wrapped in cloth, but you can see the frescoes depicting the ascension of Christ and the suffering in Golgotha.

The second group includes St. Emmanuel church, St. Gabriel  church and St. Raphael church.St. Emmanuel is said to be the most beautiful of the second group of churches, and it was a church build by digging into the bedrock.St. Gabriel and St. Raphael’s church used to be the place of the royal palace of Lalibela, and beside the church was a “road to heaven” , and it was believed that climbing there would take them to go heaven.

World Heritage Information

  • Rock-Hewn Churches, Lalibela
  • Registration category Cultural heritage
  • Registration criteria 1,2,3
  • Registration year 1978


Ethiopian Airlines flies from Japan to the capital city Addis Ababa. From there, it’s about an hour by plane to Lalibela.

Ethiopian buses are not allowed from operating at night and there are many breakdowns, I recommend using an airplane because can’t arrived in one day.

How to shoot

The church is built by hollowing out rocks, and there is a rock wall behind it, so the angle can’t be decided as expected.

If you have a ultra wide-angle lens, you can shoot the entire building. Also, since the inside is quite dark, a camera with high sensitivity is recommended.

 - 今週の世界遺産