Lalibela (ላሊበላ) is history and mystery frozen in stone, its soul is alive with the rites and wonders of Christianity at its most ancient and unbending phase. No matter what you’ve heard about Lalibela, no matter how many pictures you’ve seen of its breathtaking rock-hewn churches, nothing can prepare you for the reality of seeing it for yourself. It’s not only a World Heritage site but truly a World wonder.
The Church of Saint George is one of the eleven rock-hewn monolithic churches in Lalibela. It was carved downwards from a type of volcanic tuff from the late 12th or early 13th century AD and is believed to have been constructed during the reign of King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela of the late Zagwe dynasty. It is among the best known and last built of the eleven churches in the Lalibela and has been referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”.
When you see it for the first time, the Church appears wholly inaccessible – with sheer drops on every side and no bridge for entrance. Then gradually you will find there is access via a very narrow man-made trench, spiralling downwards, which changes to a tunnel close to the church, to further hide its presence. At the end of the tunnel, all of a sudden you find the gigantic Church standing there tall and huge with shining rays of the Sun falling on the pilgrims reflecting a heavenly scenario that looks a lot like biblical.