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Axum Obelisks and the Ark of Covenant

The Axum stelae or obelisks have been adopted by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1980.   Located in the far Northern Ethiopia, Axum was the center of one of the world’s most powerful kingdoms from the 1st to 7th centuries AD, converting to Christianity in the 4th c. the ruins of the ancient city  are still clearly visible , comprising some 300 enormous monolithic obelisks or stelae , royal tombs  of king Kaleb and king Gebre Meskel , palaces, fortress and the legendary bath of the Queen of Sheba.

Axum is also one of the holiest sites in Ethiopia. The 16th century Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion was probably built on an earlier 4th century church, and is the holiest church in Ethiopia. In its sanctuary is said to rest the Original Ark of Covenant.

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