10) Church of St. George, Ethiopia
The Church of St. George is situated in the town of Lalibela, legendary for its monolithic religious buildings. The church was constructed in the late 12th – 13th centuries. It is said the then reigning king was given instruction to build the church by a supernatural being, with some sources suggesting that it was St. George who appeared to the monarch. The architectural achievement of the church is astounding: a cruciform shape, carved out of a single volcanic rock, with a tunnel and trench enabling access to the entrance to the building, the church lies some 12m (nearly 40ft) below ground level. The simplistic, yet intricate design of the exterior and interior of the church attests to the peerless skills of Ethiopia’s stone masons. The church continues to be a holy site for pilgrims, and many scholars understandably consider it as one of the “wonders of the ancient world”.
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