Mekelle is the capital city of the regional state of Tigrai. The cluster includes the woredas at its vicinity: Enderta, Degua Tenbien, Hintalo Wojerat and Seharti Samre. The cluster is well known for its historical, cultural and religious collections.
II.A Brief Description of Tourist Attraction Sites
MEKELLE – THE CITY OF TWO COMPETING CASTELS
Mekelle is the oldest of all the capitals of Ethiopia’s present – day states. Local scholars trace Mekelle’s founding to the 13th century. During the reign of Emperor Yohannes IV in the 19th century, it was the country’s capital. It is Addis’s predecessor as the nation’s capital. Emperor Yohannes’ palace dominates the city. Majestic in design and handsome in size, the palace is the city’s main attraction. It also serves as city’s museum, where one can see, among other things, the Emperor’s throne, royal beds, dresses, artifacts and rifles. Of similar architecture is the Abreha Castle Hotel – a medieval – type structure believed to be built on an artificial hill deliberately assembled by a local aristocrat who wanted to defiantly demonstrate that he was not a less important personality than his cousins who lived in the palace.
Mekelle is also a transit point for the camel caravans bringing salt up from the arid land of the Danakil Depression, making the market place an attractive place to visit. From Mekelle, visitors can furthermore make a short trip to the Danakil area to take a look at some of the Afar nomads that move around the region as well as visit 120 rock hewn churches within a radius of 80km. The city also has an international airport (Alula Aba Nega). These days, Mekelle is one of the fastest growing cities in the north of Ethiopia and is becoming an ideal region for visiting, investing and studying.