Nakuta La’ab Monastery

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Things to do


Date of travel

January, 2016

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Nakuta La’ab Monastery was a 6 km drive from Lalibela.

Once again we had to scramble down to this cave monastery. On arrival we were told that a mass was in progress but that it was nearly finished. We waited outside until we were allowed in, to find a spectacular sight – brightly robed priests performing the final blessings on a few people before retreating through a door into the back. It was incredible and I handed by camera to Eskedar who took some very good photographs.

There were a couple of paintings in the main area but in the back the guardian of the monastery showed further treasures. First of all he took off his white robe which was slung casually over his shoulder and put on another with red on it (for Christmas) and then a black cloak. Having pulled back two curtains, he opened up a metal box and having put out a piece of material took out some of the treasures to display. He then held them up in turn so we could have a better look and take photographs. There were crosses, parchment book and two crowns, one of which he put on his head.

We tipped a young girl outside who’d looked after our shoes before clambering back up the steps although they weren’t as bad as I’d feared.

Helen Jackson

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