One of the most important cultural heritages of Christian Ethiopia lies on the shores of Lake Tana. On the 23rd of March 1747 the Queen of Queens Mentewab left Gondar to travel south, seeking a place to build a sanctuary to thank the Lord for all the favours bestowed upon her. When she reached the shores of Lake Tana, she saw several small islands in the middle of the lake. Before departing, the Queen ordered that a church dedicated to the Trinity of Our Lord be built on one of them, and thus another link was added to the chain of hermitages on Lake Tana: Narga Sellase, which became the most important of them all. The publication on the monastery of Narga Sellase and the entire pictorial cycle it contains shows it to be one of the crowning points of Ethiopian tradition and culture, its art absorbing the fundamental, century-old contributions of the West as well as of the East.
The book documents the evolution of the history and culture of Christian Ethiopia outlining the various typologies of Ethiopian churches (ranging from the basilica to the characteristic round Abissinian one) and reproducing for the first time the great pictorial cycle that covers the entire surface of the maqdas, the Holy of Holies of the Ethiopian church.
"Narga SellaseŽs monastery sits on a tiny islet in the middle of Lake Tana, the great body of water in the centre of the Ethiopian plateau near to the imperial city of Gondar. Founded in 1748, Narga Sellase is one of the constellation of monasteries on the lake."--BOOK JACKET. "The church is one of the masterpieces in the multi-millenial Ethiopian civilization - an ancient but extant Christian enclave in Africa - and is noted not only for the superb quality of the paintings which completely cover the walls of the maqdas, the sancta sanctorum, but also as a testimony to imperial devotion, as expressed by the prostrate figure of Queen Mentewwab, the foundress, depicted at the feet of the Majesty."-BOOK JACKET