Hidden in the remote mountains of northern Ethiopia lies Axum, a gem of the ancient world that was founded in the 1st century BC as the capital of the Axumite Empire. One of Ethiopia’s holiest sites and the supposed home of the Queen of Sheba, Axum houses many different Islamic and Christian archaeological treasures, including giant 4th-century obelisks thought to be memorials of Abyssinian kings, and the alleged remains of the mystical Ark of the Covenant, in the church of St Mary of Zion. Despite intensive research, surprisingly little is known about this once-powerful commercial center.
Aksum is a city in northern Ethiopia. It’s known for its tall, carved obelisks, relics of the ancient Kingdom of Aksum. Most are in the northern Stelae Park, including a huge fallen pillar, now in pieces. Centuries-old St. Mary of Zion is a Christian church and pilgrimage site believed to have housed the biblical Ark of the Covenant. The neighboring Chapel of the Tablet is said to contain the Ark today.