Däbrä Aron: A Rock-cut Monastic Church, Mäqet District of Northern Ethiopia


This study aims to explore Däbrä Aron, a least known monastic rock-cut church of the 14th century of Christian Ethiopia. Däbrä Aron is named after abba Aron, a famous Ethiopian monk, the founder and hewer of the monastery, which is established at Däbrä Daret, a mountain situated along the upper course of Täkkäzze River. It is a monastery that integrates troglodytic and mountainous monastic landscapes. Like Däbrä Gol, where Aron experienced his monastic life, Däbrä Daret was centre for coenobitic monastic life and opposition against immoral practices of
Solomonic kings who in different times exiled Aron and other monastic men. The church is excavated in to a white soft tuff rock and it is one of the few instances for the declining rock-church tradition of the Solomonic period. Expansion works are made internally by using gudəb, abba Aron’s ax-like excavation tool which is still preserved in the church. It has a complex layout constituting different parts – elongated anteroom, aisles, nave, tripartite sanctuary and compartmented chapels – separated by unevenly shaped columns with rough capitals and arches. This cave
is unique largely by its səqurät, aperture of the cave’s roof opened into the sky. The nave’s səqurät, rectangular in shape, allows, except rainfall droplets, entrance of sunlight into the church. The reputation of Däbrä Aron is partly associated with the acceptance of this feature as icon of the architectural excellence and spiritual devotion of abba Aron by whom many Christians were attracted into his monastic life. The cave also has an engraved processional cross decorated with symbolical trifoliate motifs

Słowa kluczowe

monastycyzm; kościoły wykute w skale; Däbrä Aron; abba Aron; historia; architektura

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Opublikowane : 2020-11-20

Demissie, T. E. (2020). Däbrä Aron: A Rock-cut Monastic Church, Mäqet District of Northern Ethiopia. Warszawskie Studia Teologiczne, 33(1), 230-254. https://doi.org/10.30439/WST.2020.1.11

Tsegaye Ebabey Demissie 
College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Hawassa University, EthiopiaDepartment of Anthropology  Etiopia

Mgr Tsegaye Ebabey Demissie – tytuł licencjata z historii uzyskał na Uniwersytecie Debre Markos w Etiopii w 2010 r.; tytuł magistra archeologii uzyskał na Uniwersytecie w Addis Ababa w Etiopii w 2014 r.; w latach 2011–2018 wykładał na Wydziale Historii i Zarządzania Dziedzictwem na Uniwersytecie Dilla w Etiopii, od 2018 r. pracuje jako wykładowca archeologii na Wydziale Archeologii, Kolegium Nauk Społecznych i Humanistycznych na Uniwersytecie Hawassa w Etiopii. Jego zainteresowania badawcze obejmują: archeologię historyczną, historię chrześcijaństwa i jego kulturowe dziedzictwo, zarządzanie dziedzictwem kulturowym, dzie288 dzictwo niematerialne i inne pokrewne zagadnienia.

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