Holy Trinity Cathedral

1047 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

January, 2016

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

At the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, there was a small entrance fee which our guide, Eskedar, took care of. The area surrounding the cathedral was very busy with of lots of white robed local people lying down to kiss the ground, steps and doors of the Cathedral. After taking off our shoes, we found the interior virtually empty and very tranquil.

This is an Orthodox Ethiopian Cathedral and was divided into three parts.
Mass is held in the main and largest section with services starting at midnight on Saturday and running through to 6am on Sunday. Brightly coloured stained glass windows dominated both sides with scenes from the old testament on the left (starting with Adam and Eve) to the new testament on the right (ending with the resurrection). One on the left depicted the Queen of Sheba with King Solomon and Eskedar told the story of when the Queen visited King Solomon in Jerusalem. There was a big feast where lots of salt was used. King Solomon placed a jug of water outside her bedroom when she retired for the night which she drank. But as she’d not had his permission, she had to sleep with him and as a consequence gave birth to a son, Mennelik. When Mennelik returned to see his father in Jerusalem, he brought back the Ark of the Covenant which is how it ended up in Ethiopia.

On the high round ceiling were four frescos: two religious and two political. The latter depicted Haile Selassie speaking to the League of Nations (now the United Nations) in Geneva and the other him dressed in military uniform addressing troops on his return from England.

The second section was only for the priests and the third section houses the replica Ark of the Covenant which all churches and cathedrals have.

We also saw the marble tombs of Haile Selassie and his wife whose bodies were transferred from the Menelik II Mausoleum 25 years ago – Bob Marley’s widow, Rita, was part of the procession.

Having retrieved our shoes we walked around the church and found a memorial to the former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who died in 2012 aged 55. Above the tomb was a black and white painting of him standing next to a pile of books to depict his love of reading. One of the most prominent books was none other than William Hague’s biography of William Wilberforce. I took a photograph of the picture and sent it to Lord Hague on return who replied saying: ‘I was not aware of this picture. I believe I gave Mr Meles my book on Wilberforce, as something of a hint about human rights, but you never know when you give your book to a Prime Minister what he will do with it. Perhaps he even read it!‘

We also saw the grave of Sylvia Pankhurst who became a supporter of Haile Selassie and moved to Adidas Ababa on his invitation in 1956 with her son Richard. When she died in 1960 aged 78 she was given a full state funeral as an ‘honorary Ethiopian’.

Helen Jackson

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.