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Addis Ababa - Ethiopia


Addis Ababa lies sprawled across the foothills of Mount Entoto, in the centre of Ethiopia. This is the political, economic, and educational hub of the country, itself largely undiscovered by mass tourism. Ethiopia's distinguished cultural legacy has remained unaffected by outside influence - it is one of only two African countries that were not colonized by Europeans.
Ethiopia's history goes back for over 2,000 years - some of the earliest hominids (about 3 million years old) have been discovered here. Powerful kingdoms and different capitals came and went, until the country was finally re-united in 1855. In 1886 Taytu Betul, the wife of Emperor Menelik II, built a house near the Filwoha hot springs, which was transformed into the Imperial Palace and new capital. Meaning 'New Flower', Addis Ababa remains the seat of government, but the president lives in the National Palace, built for Emperor Haile Selassie in 1955. In upper section of old city on a level of over 3,000 m (9,900 ft), are situated St. George Cathedral and Addis Ababa University. Its narrow streets and market squares are 450 m (l,485ft) above the surrounding metropolis. Beneath it is the main commercial section, with tree-lined avenues, museums, restaurants and hotels as well as over 90 embassies and consulates. Here lies headquarters to African Union and UN Economic Commission for Africa and it is also home to a large foreign population.Here modern office buildings rub shoulders with colonial villas. The site of Sylvia Pankhurst's tomb lies close to Holy Trinity Cathedral, which was one of the largest pre-fabricated buildings and now is a convention centre. Throughout the city can be found goats and chickens patrol every small patch of land. Mules and donkeys mix with traffic, reminding the visitor that the city grew from a handful of villages settled by nobles who followed their emperor here less than 150 years ago.