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Heritage Preservation: Protecting the Past and Building the Future

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Planning for Cities in Crisis

Part of the book series: Local and Urban Governance ((LUG))

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Abstract

This chapter looks at Gondar’s development through the layers of history. Gondar has a rich mix of historic and cultural resources some of which date to the sixteenth century. Historic resources give a community a sense of who they are, and how their forefathers lived. They are important resources worth preserving for future generations. Local governments should adopt policies and programs that would facilitate the preservation and protection of these resources.

When developing a local plan, municipalities must solicit input from citizens to evaluate public attitudes toward historic preservation and to set priorities that reflect the wishes of the community. Some of Gondar’s historic assets including the castles, old bridges, and roundhouses reflect the rich cultural connection that the city had with the Portuguese Jesuits of the seventeenth century. But when questions are raised on who were the architects and builders of these resources, the answers are often riddled with guesswork and uncertainty. This chapter tries to shed light on this important question.

Gorgora and Semien national parks are two major natural resources that are located in the area. The chapter analyzes the tourism potential of these resources and their contribution to providing diversity in available tourism destinations in the region.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    There is a lot of work on the Jesuit mission and the problems that resulted from the fathers’ attitude toward the Ethiopian Orthodox church. For various views, see, for example, Carman (1985), Merid (1998), Ullendorf (1956), Cohen (2003), Martinez (2002).

  2. 2.

    The Andemta (), alternative story states: While you (Fasiledes) were hunting, you saw a buffalo, and as the animal started to flee from your sight, you chased it on a horseback. Exhausted from chasing, suddenly you found yourself in the midst of a wooded hill between the Angereb and Qaha Rivers. You dismounted from your horse when you saw a small spring near the hill to get some water. Suddenly, an old hermit appeared at the site and told you that you were standing on the site of your new capital, and it is called Gondar, which means the Paradise of Ezra and Enoch. The hermit also said, “here you will build your palace and those who dwell in the area will enjoy the kingdom of heaven, even if they are not baptized, and I will protect you to the end of your life.” For more on the legend from the Dersane Raguel, see Perruchon (1882).

  3. 3.

    Many of these densely populated neighborhoods lost their old names, particularly after the Italian period. Some of these neighborhoods include Dengaye (south of the Saturday market), Feres Bet (east of the Saturday market) Erq Bet (east of Debre Mitmaq church), Gufaya Mescha/Meshecha (central Arada), Dib Anbesa (south of Fit Michael church), Gira Womber (Tsadique Yohannis school), Adenager (east of Adebabay Tekle Haymanot), Echege Bet (near Aba Jale), and Enqoye Mesq (south of Gemjabet Mariam). For a wider list of the names of many of Gondar’s old neighborhoods, see Ethiopian Emperor’s short story during the Gondarian period by Kegngeta Zemene Zerihun, 2010 (E.C.), in Amharic.

  4. 4.

    Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistics Information Center, Israel. (2019). “The Ethiopian population in Israel”. Cns.gov.il/mediarelease/pages/2019. Accessed 12/11/21.

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Annex 5.1: Shaykhe Ali Musa’s Letter to Ahmed Pasha Manikli

Annex 5.1: Shaykhe Ali Musa’s Letter to Ahmed Pasha Manikli

An image displays 2 pages of Shaykhe Ali Musa's letter to Ahmed Pasha Manikli in Urdu and English languages, respectively.

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Wubneh, M. (2022). Heritage Preservation: Protecting the Past and Building the Future. In: Planning for Cities in Crisis. Local and Urban Governance. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-18416-1_5

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