The peaceful, melancholy, construction site at Daga

6th March 2020

The peaceful, melancholy, construction site at the highest point of the Daga Istafanos monastery near the centre of Lake Tana in northern Ethiopia.

The monks work all day until five in the afternoon without water or food carrying stone and mixed lime mortar to a team of masons lead by Melissa and David. They are building a new church based upon a mid-17th century design, found on an ink seal of the same date.

The sharp volcanic rock is bedded on a mix of two parts reworked 6-month-old lime putty with one-part gravel and one eighth of an amount of fine sand.

 It has been a pleasure to offer some advice during the construction to the engineer, the masons and the monastery’s leaders.