Christianity came to Ethiopia from Aksum, from the North-Eastern part of Ethiopia. Aksum was a mighty city 2000 years ago and year 330 the Aksumite king Ezana adopted Christianity. From then on, Christianity has been the core of the Ethiopian culture. Skills and traditions of building churches developed first in Aksum, and spread from there towards west in the country.
Yemrahane Kristos built this church 80 years before the churches of Lalibela. The building shows clear marks of the Aksumite style with Aksumite windows and striped walls with layers of white stone and wooden beams.
The church is located in a basalt cave on top of a small lake. The dark and mysterious cave is surrounded by pristine juniper forest.
Yemrahane Kristos church is located 34 km from Lalibela. Visiting is possible by car with short walk from the parking lot. It makes a pleasant half day excursion. If you have the whole day to spend, you can make a stop at Bilbala to see the village and visit close-by rock-hewn churches such as Bilbala Qirqos and Bilbala Giyorgis.