EMPIRE IN VISITING SEQUENCE
I King Ezana’s Garden
The junction between the Adwa – Shire road and Denver Street creates this small triangular garden. The area is a by-product of the road built by the Italians in 1936, which immediately afterwards was turned into a sort of “archaeological cemetery”, as an Italian archaeologist who was there at that time labeled it. Many of the Aksumite monuments found in the area during the road work were set in the garden, among benches and a small kiosk. Inside a circular hut to the left of the entrance is the most famous of the extraordinary inscriptions of King Ezana, for whom the garden is named.
II Tomb of Bazen
The tomb, dedicated to king Bazen by Jean Doresse in 1954, is where one can see the rock hewn tomb with its marking stele up close. Tradition has it that Bazen, biblically called Balthazar, was one of the three wise kings - namely Bazen/Balthazar/, Melchior, and Kasper, who presented the gifts to baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
III Hatsani Daniel’s Inscription
One of the thrones lining the start of the processional way offers inscriptions in Ge’ez on its broken base, commemorating the warlord Hatsani Daniel’s conquest of the Welkite and Kassala people. On the seat of the same throne, Hatsani Daniel declares that he subjugated the former Aksumite king, making himself supreme ruler.
These inscriptions have been dated to the 7th century when Aksum was starting to decline, creating a political void that was accompanied by civil war and uprisings. It gives an important historical insight into this period, which was marked by the transfer of power from a hereditary ruler to a military leader.
IV Stelae Park
Famous worldwide for its breathtaking stelae, this park is definitely the must- see site for anyone who wants to approach and appreciate the magnificence of the ancient Aksumite culture. Here all the best examples of Aksumite stelae can be admired – including the beautiful stele recently returned from Italy – together with three other impressive subterranean monuments: the presumed funerary complex commonly known as Nefas Mawcha, with its gigantic stone roof slab; the Tomb of the Brick Arches, and the Tomb of the False Door. The present park was created in the early 1960s on the initiative of the erstwhile Governor of Tigrai, Ras Managesha Seyum. The ancient terraces were cleared of dwellings and, at the same time, several stelae were straightened and consolidated. The stelae area is prominently located in the northern part of the city, immediately north of the Enda Maryam Cathedral. It measures about 750m from southwest to northeast, stretching along the valley created by the small Mai Hejja Torrent between Bete Giyorgis Hill to the northwest and Mai Qoho Hill to the east.