Emperor Fasilides

emperor fasilides king of ethiopia

Emperor Fasilides

A powerful emperor of the Solomonic dynasty who ruled in the 17th century, Fasilides took the throne name 'Alam Sagad', meaning "he to whom the world bows."

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church throve during Fasilides' reign.

He restored its official status as the state religion and legitimated its status by rekindling connections with the high priests of the Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt.

emperor fasilides castle

image credit: wikipedia.org

Catholics and Jesuits didn't fare as well under Fasil's rule: he burned Catholic writings and banished missionaries of both sects.

Fasilides is best known, however, for his grand buildings and public works projects.

He established Gondar in 1635, made it Ethiopia's new capital city, and built the palace complex that became the Royal Enclosure, Fasil Ghebbi.

His buildings in the Royal Enclosure are striking in their combination of European and Moorish architectural elements.

Fasilides started many of the forty-four churches that would later make Gondar famous and built seven stone bridges in Ethiopia, including two that span the Blue Nile.

Fasil's other marks include his withdrawal from diplomatic relations with European powers but his creation an embassy in the Mughal Empire of India and his infamous imprisonment of his son Dawit on a mountaintop after the young upstart rebelled against his father and tried to usurp the throne.