Small Model of North Gondar Castle
2004 Audio tour
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The real North Gondar Castle is located in the fortress-city of Fasil Ghebbi in northern Ethiopia, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to legend, a buffalo led the Ethiopian Emperor Fasiledes to the site, where the Emperor built his imperial capital in the seventeenth-century. Art, literature and music flourished within these fortress walls. Gondar-style architecture is distinctive, influenced by Baroque to Nubian styles. Today the fortress-city is in ruins, and the castle of Emperor Fasiledes is scarred by earthquakes and war. However, the model is golden, giving the castle an almost timeless quality.
I believe that cultural heritage plays a vital role in the identity of people and nations. This object was given to Justin Dell at a time when Ethiopia was recovering from a conflict with Eritrea, continued droughts and high rates of HIV prevalence. North Gondar is located in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. In the words of Justin Dell, “Amharans are very proud people, and I think that given the context, the past, and the poverty, the model of North Gondar Castle was one option that reflects pride and importance”.
Audio recording by Antonia Dalivalle (Volunteer), London.
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