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COURSE: HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE 
(ETHIOPIAN) 
YOHANNES GOYTOM 
Fourth Year Student of Architecture and Urban Planning
• Gonder was the capital city of 
Abyssinia; the present country 
Ethiopia. 
• Gonder is found in the Northern 
Part of Et...
• The civilization of Gonder City has 
begun in the 16th and 17th 
centuries when the Portuguese 
soldiers had come to Eth...
• The City was the principal cultural 
center and major market place for 
trade. 
• The rulers used to move their 
royal c...
• It’s a fortress-city of Emperor Fasil, 
constructed in 1636. 
• The wall has an approximately 
900m long and almost 77,0...
1. PALACE OF FASIL 
2. BATH OR FASILADAS 
3. PALACE OF IYASU 
4. SMALL PALACE OF FASIL 
5. GIMJABET MARIAM CHURCH 
6. LIBR...
FASIL GHIBI HAS 12 GATES WHICH SYMBOLIZES THE 
NUMBER OF JESUS DESCIPLES. 
1. FIT BER, JAN TEKEL BER (IMPERIAL GATE) 
2. W...
• It was designed and constructed 
by Indian Architect. 
• Two Storey palaces built on a 
25x25m area with a height of 32m...
• The floors were finished with a 
dressed stone. 
• There is a star of David signs 
above the doors, which shows the 
kin...
• It’s a two storey battlemented 
structure. 
• Situated in a rectangular water 
pool. 
• The bathing pavilion stands on 
...
• Water was supplied by a canal 
from Qaha river. 
• It also have a sauna bath which 
the emperor and his family used 
on ...
• His castle was described at the 
time as better than the House of 
Solomon. 
• Its inner walls were decorated 
with ivor...
• A one storey building with a 
round tower at the southeast 
corner.
Debre Birhan Selassie Church Flanked by high walls on 
raised platform, the interior is interesting with harmony 
of brigh...
• Built in the first half of 17th 
Century. 
• Built on18 x 12m area. 
• Located at 5Km south of the small 
town of Emfraz...
• Most structures, like palaces, castles, and other 
churches, were built of alternating layers of stone and 
mortar rough...
• Building in stone and mortar required technical 
knowledge, tools and suitable stone for cutting into 
blocks and for ca...
• Ever since the Italian’s conquer of Ethiopia in 
1936, the Italians concentrated their building 
activity north of Fasil...
• The higher area comprised the governmental 
district, centered on two monumental 
buildings for the military authorities...
Gonder Architecture
Gonder Architecture
Gonder Architecture
Gonder Architecture
Gonder Architecture
Gonder Architecture
Gonder Architecture
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Gonder Architecture

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This material is uploaded for a reference purpose of an Architecture Students all over the world. It's part of a history of Ethiopian Architecture.

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Gonder Architecture

  1. 1. COURSE: HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE (ETHIOPIAN) YOHANNES GOYTOM Fourth Year Student of Architecture and Urban Planning
  2. 2. • Gonder was the capital city of Abyssinia; the present country Ethiopia. • Gonder is found in the Northern Part of Ethiopia. • Most of the settlers were an Orthodox religion followers which has reflected on the structures built at that period. Location of Gonder City
  3. 3. • The civilization of Gonder City has begun in the 16th and 17th centuries when the Portuguese soldiers had come to Ethiopia to aid in fights against Adal. • The city is naturally defensible because of its natural flat-mountains and rugged terrains.
  4. 4. • The City was the principal cultural center and major market place for trade. • The rulers used to move their royal camps from place to place till they settle under the rule of Atse Fasiladas and built the current city Gonder in 1636. • There were almost 44 decorated churches built at that period but most of them were ruined now.
  5. 5. • It’s a fortress-city of Emperor Fasil, constructed in 1636. • The wall has an approximately 900m long and almost 77,000m2 area. • The premises consists Palaces, Churches, Monasteries and unique Public and private buildings. • The site was selected by the king for a reason of Defensive, free from malaria disease, and good climate condition.
  6. 6. 1. PALACE OF FASIL 2. BATH OR FASILADAS 3. PALACE OF IYASU 4. SMALL PALACE OF FASIL 5. GIMJABET MARIAM CHURCH 6. LIBRARY OF TSADIK YOHANNES 7. HOUSE OF SONG DAWIT 8. PALACE OF BAKAFFA 9. PALACE OF EMPRESS MENTIWAB 10. ATAMI QIDUS MICHAEL CHURCH
  7. 7. FASIL GHIBI HAS 12 GATES WHICH SYMBOLIZES THE NUMBER OF JESUS DESCIPLES. 1. FIT BER, JAN TEKEL BER (IMPERIAL GATE) 2. WEMBER BER (GATE OF THE JUDGES) 3. TESKARO BER (FUNERAL COMMEMORATORS) 4. AZOSH TUKURE BER 5. ADENAGER BER (GATE OF SPINNERS) 6. QWALI BER (GATE OF QUEEN’S ATTENDANT) 7. IMBILTA BER (GATE OF FLUTE PLAYERS) 8. ELFIGN BER (GATE OF PRIVATE CHAMBER) 9. RAS BER (GATE OF HIGH PERSONS) 10. KECHIN ASHEWA BER 11. INQOYE BER (GATE OF PRINCES INQOYE) 12. GIMJA (BETE MARYAM) BER
  8. 8. • It was designed and constructed by Indian Architect. • Two Storey palaces built on a 25x25m area with a height of 32m from ground. • The palace have four dome shaped towers made of roughly hewn stones.
  9. 9. • The floors were finished with a dressed stone. • There is a star of David signs above the doors, which shows the king’s link with the solomonid dynasty. • The palace have a narrow rectangular and a square punched openings. • It also have a cantilevered balconies made of wood.
  10. 10. • It’s a two storey battlemented structure. • Situated in a rectangular water pool. • The bathing pavilion stands on pier arches and have different rooms reached by stone bridge.
  11. 11. • Water was supplied by a canal from Qaha river. • It also have a sauna bath which the emperor and his family used on a very regular basis because a rare skin disorder which has an underground passage way through the castle. • Cloth Hangers were out of Rhino horns.
  12. 12. • His castle was described at the time as better than the House of Solomon. • Its inner walls were decorated with ivory, mirrors and paintings of palm trees and its ceiling was covered with gold-leaf and precious stones. • Have unusual vaulted (arch) ceiling.
  13. 13. • A one storey building with a round tower at the southeast corner.
  14. 14. Debre Birhan Selassie Church Flanked by high walls on raised platform, the interior is interesting with harmony of brightly colored ceiling paintings of (angels) religious history
  15. 15. • Built in the first half of 17th Century. • Built on18 x 12m area. • Located at 5Km south of the small town of Emfraz, Not far from the north-eastern shores of Lake Tana.
  16. 16. • Most structures, like palaces, castles, and other churches, were built of alternating layers of stone and mortar roughly cut and curved stones. • Walls are very thick and very tall stone structure that was built to withstand the attacks. • Iyasu’s Castle was a masterwork, with decorations with mirrors, ceiling covered in gold leaf and semi-precious stones. With and ivory and paintings of Palm tree the castle was better than the House of Solomon. • The interior wall and ceiling is interesting with harmony of brightly colored paintings of (angels).
  17. 17. • Building in stone and mortar required technical knowledge, tools and suitable stone for cutting into blocks and for carving out shape. • They used to use limestone or Egg Shells to prepare mortar. • Indians, Turks, and Portuguese qualified masons, carpenters and plasterers has exchanged craftsmanship with Ethiopians.
  18. 18. • Ever since the Italian’s conquer of Ethiopia in 1936, the Italians concentrated their building activity north of Fasil Ghibi on two adjacent level areas; (The lower and Higher) • The lower area served as commercial district consisting Cinema, post offices and alike.
  19. 19. • The higher area comprised the governmental district, centered on two monumental buildings for the military authorities, whose towers commanded distant views and marked the center of power in the new Gonder.

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