Gondar is a highlight not to be missed on your journey along the Historic Route. Nestled in the foothills of Simien National Park, the royal and ancient historical city of Gondar was once the seat of Ethiopian emperors. The numerous castles and palaces that remain within the walls of the Royal Enclosure (also known as Fasil Ghebbi) are a testament to the royal capital’s former splendor. This 70,000-sq meter UNESCO World Heritage site is easily accessible for visitors and a wonderful place to navigate on foot.
A popular stop along the way is Fasiledes' Palace, which is the oldest and arguably the most impressive building in the Royal Enclosure. With its domed towers the castle seems to have jumped straight off the pages of a fairytale.
Another well-visited site in Gondar is the large rectangular pool known as Fasiledes' Bath, where religious ceremonies still take place today. Once a year, during the Timkat festival, the pool is filled with blessed water and devotees are invited to swim and frolic in the pool in a ceremonial replication of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River.
Finally, one of Ethiopia’s most beautiful churches, Debre Berhan Selassie, with its painted ceilings, is also a must-see.