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The awe-inspiring cave churches of Ethiopia: Carved out of sandstone and reached by rope ladders, fresco-covered rock refuges are 1,600 years old

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  • Network of Christian places of worship was carved into the rock in Tigray between 5th and 15th centuries
  • Abune Yemata Guh church sits 2,500ft above ground and is said to have been carved out by Egyptian priest
  • Congregation can now only reach place of worship by scaling 19ft-high rock wall without ropes or harnesses

Carved into the sandstone Gheralta mountains up to 1,600 years ago, this is an extraordinary network of Ethiopian cave churches.

The network of Christian places of worship was carved into the rock in Tigray between the 5th and 15th centuries and painted with frescoes.

The Abune Yemata Guh church, which sits 2,500ft above ground, is said to have been carved out by an Egyptian priest who walked all the way there.

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