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The National Palace of Emperor Yohannes IV Reopens for the Public

Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, August 26, 2016

Emperor Yohannes IV, throne in the National Palace in the city of Mekelle, Tigrai, Ethiopia

The National Palace of Emperor Yohannes IV, King of Zion and King of Kings of Ethiopia has opened its gates for the public after it was closed for renovations for four years.

The throne of Emperor Yohannes IV, King of Zion and King of Kings of Ethiopia in the National Palace in Mekelle

The Palace of Emperor Yohannes IV is located in the capital city of Tigrai State, the Northern Star, city of Mekelle. Emperor Yohannes IV had built eight palaces throughout northern Ethiopia including one in the city of Debretabur.

The newly renovated palace which is now serving as a museum was opened in the presence of invited dignitaries and guests from all over the state.

According to Ms. Meaza Esqael, the Director of Museum and Artifacts Services and Security, the renovation and restoration of the historical palace was carried out by local artisans, builders, masonries and other skilled professional people. Local experts of ancient history studied the original materials used in the palace to find out what and how materials were used when the palace was built the first time. Foreign architectural restoration experts also provided some advice.

The National Palace of Emperor Yohannes IV, in the city of Mekelle, Tigrai, Ethiopia

Background of Emperor Yohannes IV

Emperor Yohannes IV’s birth name was Kahsai Mrcha. He was born on July 12, 1837 at Mai Beha Tembien from his father Shum Tembien Mircha Woldekidan of Tembien and from his mother Woyzero Silass Dimtsu.

Emperor Yohannes IV was crowned as an emperor on January 12, 1872 at the historic city of Axum. in Tigrai. He was the first emperor to be crowned in the historic city of Axum since Emperor Fasilides in 1632.

In March 1889 Emperor Yohannes IV arrived in the city of Gonder in hurry after he heard the Dervishes from Sudan have invaded north western Ethiopia.  Dervishes Mahdists have reached the city of Gonder and they had burned part of the city. Emperor Yohannes IV’s army fought the Mahdists for days and wiped them out. The invading Dervish army was defeated chased out of Gonder all the way to the border. At the end of the war the Emperor was wounded by a sniper bullet. He died on March 9, 1889 in Metema after saving the city of Gonder from the Mahdist Muslim invaders. It is ironic the city of Gonder now has become the play ground of the Egyptians and the blood of innocent Tigraians was spilled by the local Gonder people.

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