The university city of Mekele is the capital of Tigray, the northern most region in Ethiopia. The city owes its significance to once having been the country’s capital under the reign of emperor Yohannes IV. Today Mekele is a starting point for tours to the Danakil Depression and excursions to the many rock-hewn churches dotted along the high-desert landscape of northern Tigray.
Among the sites to see in the city itself is the stone palace which was once inhabited by emperor Yohannes IV. It has since been converted to an interesting museum.