With a population of more than two million people, Addis Ababa is not only the political capital but also the economic and social nerve-centre of Ethiopia. Founded by Emperor Menilek in 1887, this big, sprawling, hospitable city still bears the stamp of his exuberant personality. More than 21,000hectares in area, Addis Ababa is situated in the foothills of the 3,000 meters Entoto Mountains and rambles pleasantly across many wooded hillsides and gullies cut through with fast- flowing streams. If you have some spare time during your stay there are a number of places that are well worth a visit.
The Addis Ababa University, whose campus occupies a palace built by Haile Selassie before the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, houses the Institute of Ethiopian studies and the Ethnological Museum. The St George Cathedral was built in 1896 in the traditional octagonal shape in commemoration of Ethiopia’s military success at the Battle of Adwa (St George is the patron saint of the soldier)