Monday, May 20, 2024

Old Emperor Menilek II palace in very bad condition


The old Emperor Menilek Palace located at Entoto near St. Mary Church is in a very bad situation because the dried grass roof is falling to the ground and a hole is causing sunlight and rain to get into the floor of the rooms.
The historical palace is made from wood and mud. Emperor Menilek II resided there and built the palace for his administration when he came from Ankober and founded Addis Ababa more than 120 years ago.
Another problem is the wooden stairs and balconies that are also in such poor condition that tourists cannot easily see the home.
The palace which was built more than 110 years ago needs just half a million birr to fix the grass roof and has been trying to raise money to accomplish this.
Last year the Entoto St. Marry church was trying to gather money and renovate the roof by themselves, but they told Capital they were unable to get the money. Every 10 years the roof is replaced with new dried grass from Ankobar, however this past decade that has not occurred. Capital asked Melake Aba Kidane Mariam, head of Entoto St. Mary Church why they could not come up with half a million birr for the renovation.
“We have more than 120 staff in our church and we spend more than half a million birr for salaries and different expenditures so we don’t have the money to do that. We have been trying to do it but we could not. We are applying to the Addis Ababa Cultural and Tourism Bureau and we are waiting for their response.’’
Melake Aba Kidane added that the church also needs to renovate the compound of the palace and the museum in the church.
“Honestly speaking the compound itself is not at a standard that can serve tourists and then the museum need big renovations to provide good service for visitors who want to know about King Menilek II.’’
The Cultural Bureau said that they established a committee to find a solution.
Dereje Seyoum, Heritage Expert at the Addis Ababa Cultural and Tourism Bureau said, “the committee will meet soon so hopefully there will be an answer shortly.’’
Having abandoned his old capital at Ankobar several years previously, Menilek settled at Entoto, in 1881. He at once set to work building a palace and a church. The construction operations were accompanied by a certain amount of innovation.
Entoto, however, soon proved an unsatisfactory capital. Menilek therefore founded Addis Ababa in 1887 which was soon established in its stead as the capital of the realm.

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