In the footsteps of the Queen of Sheba

January 15, 2017

Ethiopia’s rich and complex history, fascinates me.  A mix of fact and legend, which speaks of a land of ancient language, a powerful queen, a prosperous African empire, with an enduring devotion to God. The Queen of Sheba is an important Ethiopian historical figure.  As a woman, I love the references to her being an astute ruler, powerful and commanding! There are far too few women referenced in history, especially in African history. Yet the sources and origins of the tales about the Queen of Sheba and her power, wealth and empire are sketchy. Either way you cant talk about this country's past without her name popping up. She is also referenced in a few religious books, including the Bible, the Old Testament, the First Book of Kings, chapter 10 -verses 1 – 10:

 

“The queen of Sheba heard of Solomon's fame and came to test him with hard questions. She arrived in Jerusalem with a very large retinue, camels laden with spices, gold in great quantity, and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she told him everything she had in her mind, and Solomon answered all her questions; not one of them was too abstruse for the king to answer……”

 

It is said that she started the Solomonic dynasty in Ethiopia through the birth of her son, King Menelik – the son of King Solomon.  Her son would later journey to Jerusalem to study. Upon Menelik's return, together with the son of the priest of the Temple of Jerusalem, they would bring the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia. It is said the Ark of the Covenant remains here to this day and is kept in Axum.  On my epic Ethiopian holiday, I couldn't resist following in the footsteps of the Queen of Sheba. To do this I had to travel to Axum, in Northern Ethiopia.

First I discovered Sheba's palace.

 

 

 

It was a very warm day, but I had goosebumps just thinking that once a long, long time ago Sheba roamed this ruin. There really isn’t much left of her palace but I did find what would have been her throne room.  I guessed more or less where her throne would have been placed within this space.   So even without a chair, I pretended to be a queen for a few moments. 

 

 

 

 

Sheba's bathing pool is also worth a visit.  And it is another example of the layers of culture that have been woven together in Ethiopia.

 

The pool which once washed clean the mighty Queen of Sheba, was later used to baptise the Axumite King Ezana, who was the first to convert to Christianity.

 

NOTE:

All my travels are self funded.

My travel itinerary was customise designed by Boundless Ethiopia Tours, to cover the areas and activities of interest to me.  I highly recommend them if you are considering a visit to this wonderful country, they are friendly, professional and knowledgeable.  

For more information: http://boundlessethiopia.com/

I flew to Ethiopia on Ethiopian Airlines: https://www.ethiopianairlines.com/AA/EN

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