St Mary of the Covenant

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From Bahir Dar, if you cross Lake Tana for an hour and walk for half a kilometre, you come to the monastery of St Mary of the Covenant. The Covenant is Christ’s promise to his mother that she can intercede for all sinners on the hour of their death, and the walls of the church are covered in cloth paintings showing the lives of local saints, Mary’s miracles and key moments from the Bible story. The styles embrace Mughal miniatures, Byzantium, Mexican adoration of the virgin and medieval illuminated manuscripts, and remarkably the paintings have not been restored.

All photos Jan 2016.

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