Often overlooked but one of the more interesting churches in Ethiopia, The Church of St. Raguel (or Holy Raguel or Kiddus Raguel) in Entoto, a short drive outside of Addis Ababa, is well worth making the time during your travel within Ethiopia.

The church has been in existence for several hundred years. The first services were held in a nearby cave on the church grounds; when exploring this section, be sure to bring a small flashlight so you can check out the interior’s walls. Most of the drawings has faded, but this makes for an interesting peek regardless.

The nearby church, which now serves as a local house of worship, offers fascinating lessons on the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Paintings inside the church provide a wondrous Ethiopian perspective on the Scripture. Note how the "bad guys" are shown from the side, only having one eye. You will have to find a guide in order to see these paintings—the small expense is well worth it, and the chances are high that someone will be waiting at the church office anyway.

As with most Ethiopian churches’ architecture, the building is octagon-shaped: women sit on one side, men on the other. During important Christian holidays, worshipers will crowd outside—do not miss a walk around the building’s dark, hardwood exterior as it offers nice views of the eucalyptus forests.

Entrance into St. Raguel Church, and typical of most historic and religious sites in Ethiopia, will set you back 100 bir ($5). After your tour, be sure to tip the guide the equivalent of about two2 dollars or euros. If your guide cannot find it, someone at one of the other Entoto attactions should be able to point the way; the church is about four kilometers away from Menelik’s Palace.

Image credits: Leon Kaye

Addis Ababa, Entoto, St Raguel, Holy Raguel, Kaddis Raguel, travel, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, architecture, Leon Kaye

The visuals inside St. Raguel Church are fascinating

Addis Ababa, Entoto, St Raguel, Holy Raguel, Kaddis Raguel, travel, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, architecture, Leon Kaye

Dark woods and whitewashed walls ooze spirituality

Addis Ababa, Entoto, St Raguel, Holy Raguel, Kaddis Raguel, travel, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, architecture, Leon Kaye

Countless tales of good vs. evil

Addis Ababa, Entoto, St Raguel, Holy Raguel, Kaddis Raguel, travel, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, architecture, Leon Kaye

Where Ethiopians have worshipped for centuries

Addis Ababa, Entoto, St Raguel, Holy Raguel, Kaddis Raguel, travel, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, architecture, Leon Kaye

Chances are your tour will be by torchlight

Addis Ababa, Entoto, St Raguel, Holy Raguel, Kaddis Raguel, travel, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, architecture, Leon Kaye

Entrance into the cave, where services were first held

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.