|Location:||gonder, ethiopia (2236 m)|
|Text:||53 236 kilometres on the road
there is only one place in the world where six different kings have built each a castle of their own in one place and that's here in gonder. that's according to the guide who showed me around. when he learned that i had already spent a week here, visiting the castles out of boredom he was visibly disappointment.
he had all reason to be because the castles are truly interesting. built between 1632 and 1642 the castle of fasil, shows a unique mixture of axumite, portuguese, moorish and even indian architecture. indeed, from outside one is easily reminded of european castles. according to arthur, the guide, these are the only castles in all of africa.
each of the six castles has its own church, six of the forty-four churches that stand in gonder. when arthur noticed my surprise at the number he added with a smile that there were about 35'000 churches in all of ethiopia.
ethiopia must have had the longest ruling dynasty with 225 kings in one family line, starting with the descendants of solomon and ending with the last emperor, haile selassie, in the twentieth century. each of these kings had built their own churches, and many more had been built in their names later.