Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: Royal Seat of the Solomonic Emperors

Geschreven op 5-5-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

100places to rememberThe imperial castle of Gondar in the northern highlands dates back to 1636, when Gondar was the capital of Ethiopia. One of the oldest countries in the world, Ethiopia has been a sovereign state for more than 3,000 years, apart from the occupation by Mussolinis Italy from 1936 to 1941.

According to myth, the royal family is able to trace its lineage all the way back to the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. The hereditary rulers were known as the Solomonic Emperors of Ethiopia, a line unbroken until the last Emperor, Haile Selassie I, was deposed by a Soviet-backed military junta in 1974.

The earliest human remains ever found were excavated here, and scientists believe homo sapiens migrated from Ethiopia to the rest of the world at least 150,000 years ago.

The old royal castle remains one of Ethiopias main tourist attractions. Now a modern university town with a population of 200,000, Gondar is the biggest city in the Amhara region, where most of the 17 million inhabitants are smallholder farmers of cattle, sheep, goats and poultry.

The highlands are between 1,500 and 2,500 metres above sea level, making the climate rather cool for this part of Africa. As a result, the highlanders largely escape the scourge of malaria, the most prodigious of killer diseases in Ethiopia, which takes the lives of 160,000 lowlanders every year and strikes down millions of others.

Temperatures are expected to rise and precipitation to increase in the northern highlands. If this happens, it will cause the mosquitoes that transmit malaria to seek new breeding grounds in the high-altitude area of Amhara and other highland regions, spreading the disease to millions of people.

Between 2050 and 2080, the highlands of East Africa could become a high-risk area for malaria, causing huge loss of life and extensive damage to the economy.

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