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By the way, we would recommend you to combine your visit to Gondar with other popular and interesting places of Ethiopia, for example: Addis Ababa, Gondar, etc.
How to Book a Hotel in Gondar
In order to book an accommodation in Gondar enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Gondar hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Gondar map to estimate the distance from the main Gondar attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Gondar hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Gondar is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Gondar is waiting for you!
Hotels of Gondar
A hotel in Gondar is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Gondar hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Gondar are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Gondar hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Gondar hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Gondar have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Gondar
An upscale full service hotel facility in Gondar that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Gondar hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Gondar
Full service Gondar hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Gondar
Boutique hotels of Gondar are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Gondar boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Gondar may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Gondar
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Gondar travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Gondar focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Gondar
Small to medium-sized Gondar hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Gondar traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Gondar hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Gondar
A bed and breakfast in Gondar is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Gondar bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Gondar B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Gondar
Gondar hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Gondar hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Gondar
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Gondar hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Gondar lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Gondar
Gondar timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Gondar often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Gondar on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Gondar
A Gondar motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Gondar for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Gondar motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Gondar or Gonder (Amharic: ጎንደር, Gonder or Gondär; formerly ጐንደር, Gʷandar or Gʷender) is a city and separate woreda in Ethiopia. Located in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, Gondar is north of Tana Lake on the Lesser Angereb River and southwest of the Simien Mountains. It has a latitude and longitude of / 12.600; 37.467 with an elevation of 2133 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by the Gondar Zuria woreda.
Gondar previously served as the capital of both the Ethiopian Empire and the subsequent Begemder Province. The city holds the remains of several royal castles, including those in Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal Enclosure), for which Gondar has been called the "Camelot of Africa".
Gondar: Feudal era
Until the 16th century, the Solomonic Emperors of Ethiopia usually had no fixed capital town, instead living in tents in temporary royal camps as they moved around their realms while their family, bodyguard and retinue devoured surplus crops and cut down nearby trees for firewood. One exception to this rule was Debre Berhan, founded by Zara Yaqob in 1456; Tegulet in Shewa was also essentially the capital during the first century of Solomonic rule.
Beginning with Emperor Menas in 1559, the rulers of Ethiopia began spending the rainy season near Lake Tana, often returning to the same location each year. These encampments, which flourished as cities for a short time, include Emfraz, Ayba, Gorgora and Dankaz.
Gondar was founded by Emperor Fasilides around the year 1635, and grew as an agricultural and market town. There was a superstition at the time that the capital's name should begin with the letter 'Gʷa' (modern pronunciation 'Gʷe'; Gonder was originally spelt Gʷandar), which also contributed to Gorgora's (founded as Gʷargʷara) growth in the centuries after 1600. Tradition also states that a buffalo led the Emperor Fasilides to a pool beside the Angereb, where an "old and venerable hermit" told the Emperor he would locate his capital there. Fasilides had the pool filled in and built his castle on that same site. The emperor also built a total of seven churches; the first two, Fit Mikael and Fit Abbo, were built to end local epidemics. The five emperors who followed him also built their palaces in the town.
Fasilides Castle, founded by Emperor Fasilides
In 1668, as a result of a church council, the Emperor Yohannes I ruled that the inhabitants of Gondar are to be segregated by religion. This caused the Muslims to move into their own quarter, Islamge (Amharic: እስላምጌ, "Islam place," or "Islam country") or Islam Bayt (እስላምቤት"House of Islam," lit. "Islam house"), within two years. This quarter came to be known as Addis Alem (Amharic for "New World").
During the seventeenth century, the city's population is estimated to have exceeded 60,000. Many of the buildings from this period survive, despite the turmoil of the eighteenth century. By the reign of Iyasu the Great, Gondar had acquired a sense of community identity; when the Emperor called upon the inhabitants to decamp and follow him on his campaign against the Oromo in Damot and Gojjam, as had the court and subjects of earlier emperors, they refused. Although Gondar was by any definition a city, it was not a melting pot of diverse traditions, nor Ethiopia's window to the larger world, according to Donald Levine. "It served rather as an agent for the quickened development of the Amhara's own culture. And thus it became a focus of national pride... not as a hotbed of alien custom and immorality, as they often regard Addis Ababa today, but as the most perfect embodiment of their traditional values." As Levine elaborates in a footnote, it was an orthogenetic pattern of development, as distinguished from an heterogenetic one.
An overview of the medieval city buildings
The town served as Ethiopia's capital until Tewodros II moved the Imperial capital to Magadala upon being crowned Emperor in 1855; the city was plundered and burnt in 1864, then devastated again in December, 1866. Abdallahi ibn Muhammad sacked Gondar when he invaded Ethiopia June 1887. Gondar was ravaged again on 23 January in the next year, when Sudanese invaders set fire to almost every one of the city's churches.
Gondar: Colonial and modern era
After the military occupation of Ethiopia by the Kingdom of Italy in 1936, Gondar was further developed under Italian occupation, and the Comboni Missionaries established in 1937 the Latin Catholic Apostolic Prefecture of Gondar, which would be suppressed after its only prefect's death in 1951.
During the Second World War, Mussolini's Italian forces made their last stand in Gondar in November 1941, after Addis Ababa fell to British forces six months before. The area of Gondar was one of the main centers of activity of Italian guerrilla against the British forces until summer 1943.
During the Ethiopian Civil War, the forces of the Ethiopian Democratic Union gained control of large parts of Begemder, and during parts of 1977 operated within a few kilometers of Gondar, and appeared to be at the point of capturing the city. As part of Operation Tewodros near the end of the Civil War, Gondar was captured by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front in March 1991.
Gondar: Points of interest
Crowds gather at the Fasilides' Bath in Gondar to celebrate Timkat – the Epiphany for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
Gondar traditionally was divided into several neighborhoods or quarters: Addis Alem, where the Muslim inhabitants dwelled; Kayla Meda, where the adherents of Beta Israel lived; Abun Bet, centered on the residence of the Abuna, or nominal head of the Ethiopian Church; and Qagn Bet, home to the nobility. Gondar is also a noted center of ecclesiastical learning of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and known for having 44 churches – for many years more than any other settlement in Ethiopia. Gondar and its surrounding countryside constitute the homeland of most Ethiopian Jews.
The modern city of Gondar is popular as a tourist destination for its many picturesque ruins in Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal Enclosure), from which the emperors once reigned. The most famous buildings in the city lie in the Royal Enclosure, which include Fasilides' castle, Iyasu's palace, Dawit's Hall, a banqueting hall, stables, Empress Mentewab's castle, a chancellery, library and three churches. Near the city lie Fasilides' Bath, home to an annual ceremony where it is blessed and then opened for bathing; the Qusquam complex, built by Empress Mentewab; the eighteenth century Ras Mikael Sehul's Palace and the Debre Berhan Selassie Church.
Downtown Gondar shows the influence of the Italian occupation of the late 1930s. The main piazza features shops, a cinema, and other public buildings in a simplified Italian Moderne style still distinctively of the period despite later changes and, frequently, neglect. Villas and flats in the nearby quarter that once housed occupation officials and colonists are also of interest.
The town is home to the University of Gondar, which includes Ethiopia's main faculty of medicine.
Debre Birhan Selassie Church in Gondar
Based on the 2007 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), Gondar had a total population of 207,044, of whom 98,120 were men and 108,924 women. The majority of the inhabitants practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 84.2% reporting that as their religion, while 11.8% of the population said they were Muslim and 1.1% were Protestant.
The 1994 national census reported a total population of 112,249 in 21,695 households, of whom 51,366 were men and 60,883 women. The three largest ethnic groups reported in Gondar Zuria were the Amhara (88.91%), the Tigrayan (6.74%), and the Qemant (2.37%); all other ethnic groups made up 1.98% of the population. Amharic was spoken as a first language by 94.57%, and 4.67% spoke Tigrinya; the remaining 0.76% spoke all other primary languages reported. 83.31% adhered to Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, and 15.83% of the population said they were Muslim. Gondar was once the home of a large population of Ethiopian Jews, most of whom immigrated to Israel in the late 20th and early 21st century, including the current Israeli Ambassador to Ethiopia, Belaynesh Zevadia.
Main article: Languages of Ethiopia
Languages spoken in Gondar as of 2007
Air transport is served by Gondar Airport (ICAO code HAGN, IATA GDQ), also known as Atse Tewodros Airport, after the Emperor of Ethiopia (Atse) Tewodros. It is 18 km (11 miles) south of the city. Travel within Gondar is mostly done by mini-buses and 3-wheeler motorcycles (accommodating 3-4 passengers).
Intercity bus service is provided by the Selam Bus Line Share Company and Sky Bus Transport System, as well as independently-owned buses that depart from the town bus station.
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as humid subtropical (Cwa), bordering with subtropical highland (Cwb).
Climate data for Gondar
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Source: Climate-Data.org (altitude: 2226m)
Gondar: Sister city
As designated by Sister Cities International, Gondar is a sister city with:
Corvallis, Oregon, United States
Montgomery County, Maryland
Rishon LeZion, Israel
Gondar: See also
List of Gondarine churches
Gultosh - a deserted village near Gondar
Based on the BGN/PCGN romanization of Amharic.
Based on the EAE romanization of Amharic.
http://bjtoursandtrekking.com/tours/index.htm Gondar World Heritage Site
Richard K.P. Pankhurst, History of Ethiopian Towns: From the Middle Ages to the Early Nineteenth Century (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1982), vol. 1 p. 117.
Solomon Getamun, History of the City of Gondar (Africa World Press, 2005), p. 16
Getamun, City of Gondar, p. 5
Donald N. Levine, Wax and Gold: Tradition and Innovation in Ethiopia Culture (Chicago: University Press, 1972), p. 42
Levine, Wax and Gold, p. 42 n. 42
Sven Rubenson, King of Kings: Tewodros of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa: Haile Selassie I University, 1966), pp.71f
"Local History in Ethiopia" (pdf) The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 9 May 2008)
Getamun, City of Gondar, pp. 28-37
Getamun, City of Gondar, pp. 55-60
Marina and David Ottaway, Ethiopia: Empire in Revolution (New York: Africana, 1978), p. 171
Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia (New York: Palgrave, 2000), p. 322
Getamun describes the various quarters in his monograph City of Gondar, pp. 16ff
Census 2007 Tables: Amhara Region, Tables 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2 and 3.4.
1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Amhara Region, Vol. 1, part 1, Tables 2.1, 2.7, 2.10, 2.13, 2.17, Annex II.1 (accessed 9 April 2009)
Keinon, Herb (July 2016). "From Ethiopia to Israel - and back again". Jerusalem Post.
Central Statistical Agency. 2010. Population and Housing Census 2007 Report, National. [ONLINE] Available at: http://catalog.ihsn.org/index.php/catalog/3583/download/50086. [Accessed 10 January 2017].
"Gondar Atse Tewodros Airport". Ethiopian Airports Enterprise. Archived from the original on 18 August 2012.