Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, is at the heart of one of Africa’s most fascinating countries. It is the ideal get way to and from most of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Addis Ababa is an important administrative center not only for Ethiopia but also for the whole of Africa. The headquarter of the UN EconomicCommission for Africa was established here in 1958 and is also the home of the African Union Secretariat. Characterized by wide avenues and fine architecture, the capital is a delightful place to explore.
The site of Addis Ababa was chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city was founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II. Menelik, as initially a King of the Shewa province, had found Mount Entoto a useful base for military operations in the south of his realm, and in 1879 he visited the reputed ruins of a medieval town, and an unfinished rock church that showed proof of the medieval empire's capital in the area before the campaigns of Ahmad Ibn Ibrihim. His interest in the area grew when his wife Taytu began work on a church on Mount Entoto, and Menelik endowed a second church in the area.
Today the city has a population of about 4 million people. The city of Addis Ababa boasts of four old palaces, many old and new Ethiopian Orthodox churches and mosques, about 13 monuments, 10 museums including the national museum which is the home of “Lucy” and a number of parks and markets with Mercato the largest open air market in Africa.