Empress Mentewab's Kuskuam Complex

5th December 2018

The palace and complex of Empress Menetwab built 1730.  The epitome of a romantic melancholy ruin. The palace with its own ruined round church and the more modern church just outside the grounds are on the outskirts of Gonder, Ethiopia.

Built from rubble basalt walls that are likely to have been rendered in lime, with red sandstone dressings including decorative carved stones showing the Star of David, an elephant, and Samuel on the lion.

Funds for restoration are understandably lacking in northern Ethiopia but there has been some stabilisation with lime mortar and the insertion of a hard wood flat roof covered by a layer of lime concrete and then a membrane which seems to offer protection from the rain and the weight helps to stabilise the wall as they are no longer tied across the width of building.