Tankwa Ethiopia Tours

Merto Lemaryam church

mertoLying on a hilltop elevated 2600 meters above sea level, Merto Le Maryam Church is found in Inebsie Sar Midir woreda. The local religious fathers say that Merto Le Maryam which is now seen ruined was built in the 4th century during the reign of Abreha WeAtsbeha. Before the advent of Christianity, the place had once been the stronghold of Judaism where Judaic sacrifices had been offered and the place had been called Tsirha Aryam. It is said that, after Abreha and WeAtsbeha had built the church, they gave it the name Merto Le Maryam (the Amharic ‘Yemariam Adarash’- (The Seat of Virgin Mary).

However, European travelers and missionaries who visited the area in the 16th and 17th centuries wrote that the ancient Merto Le Maryam Church had been built during the reign of Emperor Susenyos (1615- 1640) and has a reflection of the architectural art of the Gondarian age. Based on some written sources, due to its artistic quality and state of conservation, it is without doubt the most important monument made by the Jesuits in Ethiopia. Merto Le Maryam is located 197 kms north- east of Debre Markos and is located 27 kms right of the town of Ginde Woin which is found on the Addis Ababa- Bahir Dar road via Motta