St. George Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Ethiopia, one of the rock carved churches of Lalibela. These churches were carved out of solid rock. In the heart of Ethiopia is situated one of its holiest towns, known as Lalibela, where a group of eleven monolithic rock-hewn churches stand. They are the biggest monolithic temples in the world, and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, yet much mystery still surrounds their construction.
The age of these buildings is unknown, but legends mention that they were excavated during the reign of Gebre Mesqel Lalibela , who ruled Ethiopia at the beginning of the 13 th century AD. His name means ‘the bees recognize him as a king’. However, David Phillipson, professor of African archeology at Cambridge University, has proposed that the churches of Merkorios, Gabriel-Rufael, and Danagel were initially carved out of the rock half a millennium earlier, as fortifications or other palace structures in the waning days of the Axumite Kingdom, and that Lalibela’s name simply came to be associated with him after his death. source ancient origins