Area: 530.14 square kilometers.
Population (data estimated for the year 2012): nearly 3,500,000
Ethiopia’s capital city Addis Ababa, (‘New Flower’), is one of the world’s highest capitals. At 2400 metres, it lies in the south-central portion of the highlands, with year-round comfortable temperatures. Addis Ababa was instituted at the end of the 19th century when the nation’s leader, Emperor Menelik 2nd, moved his original settlement off the upper slopes, into the valley proper. As is said, to escape the chilliness. Addis Ababa’s differences is development occurred after Africa’s colonial period ended. Ethiopia remains the sole African country to have escaped colonization.
Organizations such as the African Union, and United Nations Economic Commission, have their headquarters here. However with growing modernity, the capital remains African, and Ethiopian, and looks forward with confidence. Nationalities from different parts of the country are readily observed in the city.
Various attractions include the National Museum, the major Ethiopian Ethnography Museum, University of Addis Ababa, and Menelik Mausoleum. The popular Merkato bazaar lies in the north of the city. And the remains of the famous hominid ‘Lucy’ are found, along with other artifacts. The cathedrals of Saint George and Holy Trinity, and mausoleum of Emperor Haile Selassie and spouse, are mainstay, in addition to the original palace now converted.
The ‘lungs of Addis’, Entoto, is located above the city between 2700 and 3200 meters, marking Emperor Menelik II’s former settlement. Now a place of pilgrimage. The site presents important historical churches and monasteries. Visitors can spend hours of exploration, using walking trails, and enjoying superlative views.
Wafted through with mellowing scents of goat-dung, tangy eucalyptus, and ubiquitous roasting coffee, Addis Ababa is enjoyed by the neighbourhoods. Popular Arada (Piazza) excels in charming, original architecture, together with a series of famous restaurants, markets, and historical hotels. Arat Kilo, and neighbouring Sistus Kilo (6 K.) lies in the university zone. Well established with attractive gardens, patioed restaurants, and popular with university crowds. Also centre of important religious institutions. More traditional and vibrant, is Hyhoolet, (’22’ in Amharic). Colourful, enthusiastic, and eclectic. While somewhat more forward-looking, or modern, the newer Bole, zone. Popular for shopping, good dining, trendy, or traditional coffeehouses. And location of Africa’s largest Orthodox cathedral. Ethiopia’s charming capital is no less a dream for managing, and exploration. Delightful, and hospitable. Before returning, visitors often peruse unique Ethiopian quality crafts and artworks, originating from all parts of the country.