COURSE: HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE
Fourth Year Student of Architecture and Urban Planning
• Gonder was the capital city of
Abyssinia; the present country
• Gonder is found in the Northern
Part of Ethiopia.
• Most of the settlers were an
Orthodox religion followers which
has reflected on the structures
built at that period.
• The civilization of Gonder City has
begun in the 16th and 17th
centuries when the Portuguese
soldiers had come to Ethiopia to
aid in fights against Adal.
• The city is naturally defensible
because of its natural flat-mountains
and rugged terrains.
• The City was the principal cultural
center and major market place for
• The rulers used to move their
royal camps from place to place
till they settle under the rule of
Atse Fasiladas and built the
current city Gonder in 1636.
• There were almost 44 decorated
churches built at that period but
most of them were ruined now.
• It’s a fortress-city of Emperor Fasil,
constructed in 1636.
• The wall has an approximately
900m long and almost 77,000m2
• The premises consists Palaces,
Churches, Monasteries and unique
Public and private buildings.
• The site was selected by the king
for a reason of Defensive, free
from malaria disease, and good
1. PALACE OF FASIL
2. BATH OR FASILADAS
3. PALACE OF IYASU
4. SMALL PALACE OF FASIL
5. GIMJABET MARIAM CHURCH
6. LIBRARY OF TSADIK YOHANNES
7. HOUSE OF SONG DAWIT
8. PALACE OF BAKAFFA
9. PALACE OF EMPRESS MENTIWAB
10. ATAMI QIDUS MICHAEL CHURCH
FASIL GHIBI HAS 12 GATES WHICH SYMBOLIZES THE
NUMBER OF JESUS DESCIPLES.
1. FIT BER, JAN TEKEL BER (IMPERIAL GATE)
2. WEMBER BER (GATE OF THE JUDGES)
3. TESKARO BER (FUNERAL COMMEMORATORS)
4. AZOSH TUKURE BER
5. ADENAGER BER (GATE OF SPINNERS)
6. QWALI BER (GATE OF QUEEN’S ATTENDANT)
7. IMBILTA BER (GATE OF FLUTE PLAYERS)
8. ELFIGN BER (GATE OF PRIVATE CHAMBER)
9. RAS BER (GATE OF HIGH PERSONS)
10. KECHIN ASHEWA BER
11. INQOYE BER (GATE OF PRINCES INQOYE)
12. GIMJA (BETE MARYAM) BER
• It was designed and constructed
by Indian Architect.
• Two Storey palaces built on a
25x25m area with a height of 32m
• The palace have four dome
shaped towers made of roughly
• The floors were finished with a
• There is a star of David signs
above the doors, which shows the
king’s link with the solomonid
• The palace have a narrow
rectangular and a square punched
• It also have a cantilevered
balconies made of wood.
• It’s a two storey battlemented
• Situated in a rectangular water
• The bathing pavilion stands on
pier arches and have different
rooms reached by stone bridge.
• Water was supplied by a canal
from Qaha river.
• It also have a sauna bath which
the emperor and his family used
on a very regular basis because a
rare skin disorder which has an
underground passage way through
• Cloth Hangers were out of Rhino
• His castle was described at the
time as better than the House of
• Its inner walls were decorated
with ivory, mirrors and paintings
of palm trees and its ceiling was
covered with gold-leaf and
• Have unusual vaulted (arch)
• A one storey building with a
round tower at the southeast
Debre Birhan Selassie Church Flanked by high walls on
raised platform, the interior is interesting with harmony
of brightly colored ceiling paintings of (angels) religious
• Built in the first half of 17th
• Built on18 x 12m area.
• Located at 5Km south of the small
town of Emfraz, Not far from the
north-eastern shores of Lake Tana.
• Most structures, like palaces, castles, and other
churches, were built of alternating layers of stone and
mortar roughly cut and curved stones.
• Walls are very thick and very tall stone
structure that was built to withstand the
• Iyasu’s Castle was a masterwork, with decorations with
mirrors, ceiling covered in gold leaf and semi-precious
stones. With and ivory and paintings of Palm tree the
castle was better than the House of Solomon.
• The interior wall and ceiling is interesting
with harmony of brightly colored
paintings of (angels).
• Building in stone and mortar required technical
knowledge, tools and suitable stone for cutting into
blocks and for carving out shape.
• They used to use limestone or Egg Shells to prepare
• Indians, Turks, and Portuguese qualified masons,
carpenters and plasterers has exchanged craftsmanship
• Ever since the Italian’s conquer of Ethiopia in
1936, the Italians concentrated their building
activity north of Fasil Ghibi on two adjacent
level areas; (The lower and Higher)
• The lower area served as commercial district
consisting Cinema, post offices and alike.
• The higher area comprised the governmental
district, centered on two monumental
buildings for the military authorities, whose
towers commanded distant views and marked
the center of power in the new Gonder.