Ethiopia - Land, People and Customs

The Mausoleum of Menelik II – Addis Abeba

The Mausoleum of Menelik II was built in 1917 in Addis Ababa by Empress Zawditu and the then Regent of the Empire Teferi Mekonnen, and inaugurated 10 years later.

It consists of a magnificent dome, surmounted by the imperial crown, and four turrets. With a square plan, on each side there are 3 doors, in the image of the Heavenly Jerusalem as described in the Revelation of John (Chapter 21), “defended” by 2 lion statues. At the top, on each side, stands Menelik’s initial M ም, radiant and surmounted by a crown.

Inside are paintings describing the deeds of the Emperor, and in the crypt rests his body, along with that of his wife Taitu, his daughter Zewditu, and the daughter of Haile Selassie Tsehay.

The Mausoleum is also a church that regularly performs liturgical service, entitled Baata Maryam በአታ ማርያም (or “the Entrance of Maryam” in the Temple of Jerusalem).