Adigrat (Tigrinya: ዓዲግራት, ʿaddigrat, also called ʿAddi Grat) is a city and separate woreda in the Tigray Regional State of Ethiopia. It is located in the Misraqawi Zone at longitude and latitude Coordinates: , with an elevation of 2,457 metres (8,061 ft) above sea level and below a high ridge to the west. Adigrat is the last important Ethiopian city south of the border with Eritrea, and is considered to be a strategically important gateway to Eritrea and the Red Sea. Adigrat was part of Ganta Afeshum woreda before a separate woreda was created for the city. Currently, Adigrat serves as the capital of the Eastern Tigray zone.
Adigrat is one of the most important cities of Tigray, which evolved from earlier political centers and camps of regional governors. Antalo, Aläqot and Adigrat were a few of them. The decline of Antalo was followed by the rise of Adigrat as another prominent, yet short-lived, capital of Tigray. It used to serve as the capital of Agame.
Clockwise from top: Adigrat panoramic view, Cathedral of the Holy Savior, Debre Damo Monastery, typical street, downtown.
Location within Ethiopia
|• Total||18.77 km2 (7.25 sq mi)|
|Elevation||2,457 m (8,061 ft)|
|• Density||3,703/km2 (9,590/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+03:00 (EAT)|
|Area code(s)||(+251) 34|
Tradition attributes the origin of the name Adigrat, which means "the country of farmland", to the then popular Tigrayan chief Akhadom. Adigrat seems to have been under cultivation for a long time. It has a settlement history dating back at least to the 14th century.
Adigrat emerged as the political capital of Tigray when dejazmach Sabagadis Woldu of Agame assumed the governorship of the region in the period 1822-30. Sabagadis set up some palaces, churches and markets. This increasingly attracted both natives and foreigners to establish permanent residences and a few shops in the town. Adigrat was an important market-center for salt, which was mined in the Afar districts of Areho and Berale in eastern Tigray. However, it declined after the death of its patron, Sabagadis, in 1830. It was repeatedly attacked, sacked and plundered by the lowlanders and political rivals of Sabagadis.  Samuel Gobat had joined countless Ethiopians in fleeing there for safety in the days immediately after Sabagadis' death.
When the missionary Johann Ludwig Krapf passed through Adigrat in April 1842, "almost the whole is in ruins", and observed that a nearby village, Kersaber, was "much larger than Adigrat." In the late 1860s the town had a rural appearance and much of it is still under cultivation today.
During the First Italian-Abyssinian War, the Italians occupied Adigrat on 25 March 1895, and used it as a base to support their advance south to Mek'ele. General Antonio Baldissera refortified the settlement after the Italian defeat at the Battle of Adowa, but Emperor Menelik II insisted on its surrender at the beginning of the peace talks that concluded the war; Baldissera was ordered to evacuate Adigrat, which he did 18 May 1896. Augustus B. Wylde a few years later described Adigrat as having a Saturday market of medium size.
Lazarists introduced perhaps the first modern school of northern Ethiopia in Adigrat at the turn of the 20th century. However, like most Ethiopian towns, Adigrat increased its commercial and administrative importance during the period of the Italian occupation. The Italians introduced the first elements of modern infrastructure, including stronger fortresses, restaurants, residential houses, a health center, schools, roads, piped water, an electric generator, etc.
The Italians again occupied Adigrat at the beginning of the Second Italian-Abyssinian War 7 October 1935. The Italians were met there on the 11th by Ras Haile Selassie Gugsa, who had been courted by the Italians to ignite a widespread defection of the Tigrayan aristocracy; instead, he had been soundly defeated a few days before by Dejazmach Haile Kebbede of Wag, and presented himself to the invaders with only 1200 followers. Anthony Mockler notes that despite the fact the young Ras shook Ethiopian morale, "this was the first and last open defection to the Italians of an important noble and his men."
Adigrat was captured by rebels in the Woyane rebellion 25 September 1943, forcing the Ethiopian government administrators to flee to neighboring Eritrea. By 1958 the city was one of 27 places in Ethiopia ranked as a First Class Township.
During the 1970s, Agazi Comprehensive High School, and together with the town's Catholic junior high school, they became centers of anti-government dissent. The presence outside of town of a large military base, served as a focus for protesting students, and also as a source for their hopes of a military coup.
Adigrat's dependence on merchandising and trade meant that the Derg's imposition of commercial and trnasport restrictions were strongly felt and resented. Under the Derg business licenses became progressively more difficult to get, and traders' trucks were requisitioned for the transport of war-related materials to army bases in Eritrea. Permits of travel were required; convoys were introduced by 1976; and the road links to Asmara were virtually broken, largely by the ELF, by the late 1970s.
During the first years of the Ethiopian Civil War, the fledgling Tigrayan People's Liberation Front drew support from these groups. Derg forces took Adigrat during their Operation Adwa in summer 1988. The same day that the Third Revolutionary Army was crushed at Battle of Shire, 19 February 1989, government troops and officials evacuated Adigrat. According to Africa Watch they caused widespread destruction in the town before they left. A pharmaceutical factory which became operational in 1997, was set up in the town.
There are different sights near Adigrat can be visited by tourists like:-
Debre Damo is the name of a flat-topped mountain, or amba, and a 6th-century monastery in northern Ethiopia. The mountain is a steeply rising plateau of trapezoidal shape, about 1000 by 400 m in dimension.It is north-west of Adigrat, in the Mehakelegnaw Zone of the Tigray Region, close to the border with Eritrea.
Gunda Gunde is an Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo monastery located to the south of Adigrat in the Misraqawi (Eastern) Zone of the northern Tigray Region in Ethiopia. It is known for its prolific scriptorium,as well as its library of Ge'ez manuscripts. This collection of over 220 volumes, all but one dating from before the 16th century, is one of the largest collections of its kind in Ethiopia.
Adigrat, the capital of the Agamé district, has a rich aristocratic and political history. In town are the remnants of two castles from the Zemene Mesafint ("Era of Princes"),(ዘመነ መሳፍንት) one owned by Dej Desta, the other by the Ras Sebhat Aregawi. Other sites of interest:
Based on the 2007 national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), this town has a total population of 57,588, of whom 26,010 are men and 31,578 women. The majority of the inhabitants said they practiced Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, with 94.01% reporting that as their religion, while 3.02% of the population were Catholics, and 2.68% were Muslim.
The 1994 census reported it had a total population of 37,417 of whom 17,352 were men and 20,065 were women.
Surrounded by a range of mountains (the peak of which is Alaqwa), Adigrat held a strategic position at the junction of the crossroads between Adwa in the west, Asmara and Massawa in the north and Mekelle in the south. Towards the east, it is delimited by the spectacular edge of the north-eastern Ethiopian escarpment dropping into the lowlands. Adigrat was interconnected with the prominent trade routes linking Tigray and the Red Sea, on the one hand, and such old market-towns as Adwa, Hawzen, Antalo and Mekelle, on the other.
The Huga river runs through Adigrat. The city is spread widely on both banks of the river. Adigrat is located at altitude ranges from 2000 to 3000 m above sea level. The city has several prominent hills; one of the most prominent is Debre Damo which has a monastery at its peak.
Adigrat has a cold semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). The overall climate throughout the year is mild and dry. The annual rainfall ranges between 400 and 600 mm, with most of the rain falling in the rainy season (June up to September).
Addis Pharmaceuticals Factory has been operational since 1997. The city has a branch offices of Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Dashen, Awash, Wegagen, and Ambessa. Adigrat's Chamber of Commerce actively organizes many of the business in the town. A modern water supply system was built at a cost of 126.4 million birr and was inaugurated on 27 June 2017.
Since 1961 is has been the center of the Adigrat Eparchy of the Vicariate Apostolic of Abyssinia.
Tihlo is a dish unique to Adigrat. It is prepared by making kneading barley flour into soft balls and preparing a meat stew with berbere, an Ethiopian spice, onions, tomato paste, water and salt. The dish is eaten using a fork shaped utensil, which is unique in Ethiopian cuisine.
The city is represented in the Ethiopian premier league by Welwalo Adigrat University FC.
Adigrat is located along Ethiopian Highway 2, which connects the city with Addis Abeba and Mekelle. In Adigrat, Ethiopian Highway 2, turns off the main highway to the west in the direction of Adwa. To the north of Adigrat, Ethiopian Highway 20 connects the city to Kokobay and to Asmara in Eritrea.
The education system in Adigrat engages thousands of students in public and private schools.The first high school in Adigrat is Agazi Comprehensive High School which was established in the 1950s. As of 2013 there were 13 public schools and 7 private schools.
Adigrat is home to the Adigrat University which serves over 14,000 students. The technical school in Adigrat include TVET and Polytechnic College. There are two private colleges, namely, Ethio-lmage and New Millennium College.
The city has a public library with approximately 20,000 books.
Media related to Adigrat at Wikimedia Commons
Abeba Aregawi Gebretsadik (Amharic:አበባ አረጋዊ ;born 5 July 1990) is an Ethiopian-born middle-distance runner from Tigray, who specialised in the 1500 metres. Her personal best for the event is 3:56.54. Aregawi is the 2013 world champion over 1500 metres. She represented Sweden internationally.
Abeba was born in Adigrat, Ethiopia, and holds both Swedish and Ethiopian citizenships. She represented her birth country in middle-distance until December 2012. Abeba was married to an Ethiopian man with Swedish citizenship and allegedly lived in Stockholm 2009-2012. She is now remarried to Yemane Tsegay and lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
She represented the Stockholm-based club Hammarby IF to January 2016.
She was naturalized as a Swedish citizen in the summer of 2012, and has represented Sweden in international competition since December 2012.Abuna Aregawi
Abuna Aregawi (also called Za-Mika'el 'Aragawi) was a sixth-century monk, whom tradition holds founded the monastery Debre Damo in Tigray, said to have been commissioned by Emperor Gebre Mesqel of Axum.Adigrat University
Adigrat University (Tigrinya: ዓዲግራት ዩኒቨርሲቲ) is a residential national university in Adigrat, Tigray, Ethiopia. It is approximately 900 kilometres (560 mi) north of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Ministry of Education admits qualified students to Adigrat University based on their score on the Ethiopian Higher Education Entrance Examination (EHEEE).Agame
Agame (Ge'ez: ዓጋመ, agamä; "fruitful") is a former province in northern Ethiopia and is now part of the Tigray Region. Agame is located at the northeastern corner of the Ethiopian Empire. It borders on the Eritrean province of Akele Guzai in the north, Tembien, Kalatta Awlalo and Enderta in the south, and both the Eritrean and Ethiopian Afar lowlands in the east. This relative location placed Agame at the strategic cross-roads between the Red Sea Cost and the interior of southern Eritrea, on the one hand, and the northern Tigrayan plateau on the other. In pre-1991, Agame had a total area of about 4,889 square kilometres (1,888 sq mi) with an estimated population of 344,800.Akhadom
Akhadom is traditionally said to have been an ancestral father, to whom most notables and chiefs of Agame trace their pedigrees. Some of the ruling groups from other regions of Tigray also claim descent from him.Cathedral of the Holy Saviour, Adigrat
The Cathedral of the Holy Saviour (Amharic: በመንፈስ ቅዱስ በመድኃኒታችን ካቴድራል), also called Adigrat Cathedral, is a Catholic church located in Adigrat, Ethiopia. It is the main place of worship of the Ethiopian Catholic Church. The cathedral is the mother church of the Eparchy of Adigrat (Eparchia Adigratensis). It belonged to the archeparchy of Addis Ababa (Archieparchia Neanthopolitana), which was elevated to its current status in 1961 by Pope John XXIII through the bull "Quod Venerabiles".
The cathedral was built on a site called Welwalo, which was reserved after World War II for the construction of a church, it was the first parish and, after the establishment of the Eparchy and with some additions, became the cathedral being dedicated to the Holy Savior on 19 April 1969, was realized on the basis of an Italian project including the great mural Giudizio Universale (1970) of the Ethiopian artist Afewerk Tekle.Debre Damo
Debre Damo (Tigrinya: ደብረ ዳሞ) is the name of a flat-topped mountain, or amba, and a 6th-century monastery in Tigray, Ethiopia. The mountain is a steeply rising plateau of trapezoidal shape, about 1000 by 400 m in dimension. It sits at an elevation of 2216 m above sea level. It is north-west of Adigrat, in the Mehakelegnaw Zone of the Tigray Region, close to the border with Eritrea.
The monastery, accessible only by rope up a sheer cliff, 15 m high, is known for its collection of manuscripts and for having the earliest existing church building in Ethiopia that is still in its original style, and only men can visit it. Tradition claims the monastery was founded in the 6th century by Abuna Aregawi.Ethiopian Catholic Church
The Ethiopian Catholic Church is a Metropolitan sui iuris Eastern particular church within the Catholic Church, established in 1930 in Ethiopia.
Like the other Eastern Catholic Churches, the Ethiopian Catholic Church is in full communion with the Holy See. It holds the Christological doctrine of the Council of Chalcedon and accepts the universal jurisdiction of the Pope. These points distinguish it from the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, an Oriental Orthodox Church which comprises most Christians in the country. Like the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Ethiopian Catholic Church follows the Alexandrian liturgical rite.
Ge'ez, a Semitic language fallen out of daily use several centuries ago, is the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Catholic Church. The Church's liturgy is based on that of the Coptic Church.Ethiopian Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat
The Ethiopian Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat (Latin: Eparchia Adigratensis) is a Catholic eparchy located in the city of Adigrat, Ethiopia. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Addis Ababa.Ethiopian Highway 2
The Ethiopian Highway 2 is a highway in Ethiopia. It connects the capital Addis Ababa with Mekelle, as well as with Wukro, Adigrat, Axum, Shire and Humera. Ethiopian Highway 2 has a length of 974 kilometers.Mibraqawi Zone
Mebrak (or "East") is a Zone in the Ethiopian Region of Tigray. Misraqawi is bordered on the east by the Afar Region, on the south by Debub Misraqawi (South Eastern), on the west by Mehakelegnaw (Central) and on the north by Eritrea. Its highest point is Mount Asimba (3,250 m). Towns and cities in Misraqawi include Adigrat, Atsbi, Hawzen, and Wiqro.OVC project
The OVC project (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) is an initiative of the Adigrat Diocesan Catholic Secretariat (ADCS) of the Ethiopian Catholic Eparchy of Adigrat. The project supports young people with micro-scholarships for obtaining a university entrance qualification and at least one bachelor's degree in their own country. It is based in Adigrat, Tigray region, Ethiopia. One of the sponsored students was the AIDS orphan Rahel Hailay, who completed the study of biology and zoology at the universities in Axum and Mek'ele from 2009 to 2014. It is largely funded by donations collected by the Student Initiative Rahel in Germany.Sabagadis Woldu
Sabagadis Woldu (Tigrinya: ሳባጋዲስ ዎልዱ, säbagadis wäldu; horse name: Sabagadis Abba Garray; baptismal name: Za-Manfas Qedus; 1780 – 1831) was a Dejazmach (governor) of Tigray from 1822 to 1831. Sabagadis' name is derived from Saho suba (victory) and gaadis (to send a razzia). Sabagadis gained some notoriety in the first decade of the 19th century for rebelling a number of times against his overlord, Ras Wolde Selassie. But just before the death of Wolde Selassie it seems that he made up with his master and became one of his loyal lieutenants. Following Wolde Selassie's death in 1816, he defied the authority of Wolde Selassie's son, and became the most powerful warlord in Tigray. Making Adigrat his capital, he ruled Tigray, Semien, and a small strip of the coastal plains of Eritrea by 1818. His rule also extended to the Eritrean highlands (Hamasien, Akele Guzay, and Seraye).Sebhat Aregawi
Sebhat Aregawi (died 28 February 1914) was a Ras of Agame. He was appointed governor of Agame by Emperor Tewodros II in 1859, and his province was expanded by Emperor Yohannes IV to include Adigrat. Emperor Menelik II invested Sebhat with the title of Ras in 1892.Student Initiative Rahel
The Student Initiative Rahel (SIR) (German: Rahel-Bildungsprojekt) is a project of the Institute for World Church and Mission (IWM) (German: Institut für Weltkirche und Mission) which is a part of the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen. The nonprofit organization supports in a scholarship youths - mostly young women - in Adigrat in the north Of Ethiopia, who are disadvantaged for various reasons, and accompanies them financially and ideally during their studies at a university or their education. The project is funded mainly by current and former students at the university. It is largely funded by donations.Tigray Region
State of Tigray (Tigrinya: ክልል ትግራይ, kilil Tigrāy; Official name: Tigrinya: ብሔራዊ ክልላዊ መንግሥቲ ትግራይ, Bəh̩erawi Kəllelawi Mängəśti Təgray, English: Tigray National Regional State") is the northernmost of the nine regions (kililat) of Ethiopia. Tigray is the homeland of the Tigrayan, Irob and Kunama peoples. Tigray is also known as Region 1 according to the federal constitution. Its capital and largest city is Mekelle. Tigray is the 6th largest by area, the 5th most populous, and the 5th most densely populated of the 9 Regional States.
Tigray's official language is Tigrigna. Tigray is situated between 12°–15° N and 36° 30' – 40° 30' E and comprises 53,638 square kilometres (20,710 sq mi) Tigray has ca. 5.3 million inhabitants. The greatest part of the population (ca. 80%) are agriculturalists, contributing 46% to the regional gross domestic product (2002/03). The highlands (11.5% dəgʷəa, 40.5% wäyna däga) have the highest population density, specially in eastern and central Tigray. The much less densely populated lowlands of Tigray (qʷälla) comprise 48% of Tigray.
Tigray is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, the Amhara Region to the south and southwest and the Afar Region to the east. Besides Mekelle, major cities include Adigrat, Aksum, Shire, Humera, Adwa, Wolqayt, Alamata, Wukro, Maychew, Sheraro, Abiy Adi, Korem, Qwiha, Atsbi,Hawzen, Mekoni and Zalambessa. There is also the historically significant town of Yeha.
The government of Tigray is composed of the executive branch, led by the President; the legislative branch, which comprises the State Council; and the judicial branch, which is led by the state Supreme Court.Welwalo Adigrat University F.C.
Welwalo Adigrat University FC is an Ethiopian football club based in Adigrat, Ethiopia. They play in the Ethiopian Premier League, the top division of Ethiopian football.Yohannes Haile-Selassie
Yohannes Haile-Selassie Ambaye (born on (1961-02-23)23 February 1961 in Adigrat, Tigray Region) is an Ethiopian paleoanthropologist. An authority on pre-Homo sapiens hominids, he particularly focuses his attention on the East African Rift and Middle Awash valleys.Zalambessa
Zalambessa (Ge'ez: ዛላአንበሳ) is a town located on the Ethiopian border. Zalambessa is part of the Misraqawi (Eastern) Zone of the Tigray Region. It is about 42 kilometers north of Adigrat. The Serha-Zalambesa border crossing is located in the town.
|Climate data for Adigrat|
|Average high °C (°F)||24.1
|Daily mean °C (°F)||14.8
|Average low °C (°F)||4.9
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||6