The church was hewn by handout of a sand stone rock probably in the 14th century. Local oral tradition attributes its construction to Abune Abraham, a monk who is also said to have created Debre Tsion, one of the most elaborated of the Gheraltal churches. The sheer size and elaboration of its carved architecture (much of it Axumite in style) are striking. The church with rock-hewn entrance depicting a Greek cross has three doors and nine windows. Both openings have their exterior and interior scenes appearing circular and rectangular. The windows are made in such a way to allow enough light into the inner part of the church. The construction is executed following the Axumite architectural styles.
The church holds six free standing pillars that are well decorated. The ceiling too is incised with striking designs and patterns. Some carry cross and sun lights. It is also alternatively ornamented with Axumite blind arches, identical to that of Gheralta rock-hewn churches.
Information for Travelers
A visit to Eyesus Hintsa valley makes a wonderful day trip from Mekelle. However once there you may want to stay longer. Both camping and basic accommodation are available in Gijet – a friendly, lively bustling little town-or if you have your own food and camping equipment stay at Eyesus Hintsa itself, where two newly-built clean but unfurnished rooms are available next to the museum.