17th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
A Guardian of Heritage in Lalibela

An Ethiopian Orthodox priest peers out from the door of Biete Amanuel in Lalibela's complex of churches. Ethiopia has numerous rock-hewn churches but two distinctly different styles. In Lalibela, the priests take care of a complex of churches that are all carved out of the soft, reddish, volcanic tuff. These churches are basically subterranean and a stark contrast to the second style, many of which are found in the Tigray region to the north and carved from the sides of mountains.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2018
Date Uploaded: 11.2019
Photo Location: Lalibela, Ethiopia
Camera: ILCE-7M2
Copyright: © John Dwyer