Major Historical Houses and Places Major Historical Houses and Places

Major Historical Houses and Places

Amsala Genet Palace

It was guest Palace of Emperor Haile Selassie built in 1924 to host the Italian Duca degli Abruzzi.

Next to the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, it hosts the faculty of Law of Addis Ababa University.It is still used as such.The architectural design reflects art deco influences combined with heraldic motifs of the Ethiopian history.It is located inside Sidist Kilo University.

La Gare/ Ethio-Djibouti Railway Station

It is the Railway Station for the Franco-Ethiopian railway line from Dijbouti to Addis Ababa, which was constructed 1897-1917. In addition it functioned as a rest house for travellers. It was designed by the French architect Paul Barrias. It was built 1928- 1929. It is located at LeGehare.


Fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1936. With their racist policy, they planned to establish two markets, namely Arada and Merkato. The former is for Italians and the later is for Ethiopians only. Merkato is now the largest and the first open-air market in Africa. It is in here that one can bargain from daily necessities to different artifacts and curios.

Menelik II Hospital

It was the first Ethiopian hospital in Addis Ababa which was established in 1910 by the order of Emperor Menelik II & in the compound of this hospital there is a statue of the emperor himself. At present it is serving as a governmente hospital. It's located around kebena.

Empress Menen Girls school

ETEGE MENEN(YEKATIT 12) SCHOOLIt is the first girl's school in the country built in obedience to Empress Menen’s wish.The Complex has the shape of the previous Ethiopian map. It consists of two buildings built in 1930 and 1938. It was designed by the Greek architect Balanos. Currently it is serving as Yekatit12 Preparatory School. It is located in Menen area.

Genete leul Palace

Ras Teferi (Emperor Haile Sellassie) inherited the estate in 1907 from his father, Ras Mekonen and ordered the construction of the palace to become the royal residence. It was designed by the German Architect Kametz and built in 1934.During the occupation it was the residence of the "vice king" of Italy. The compound consists of several historical buildings of which the most important is the main palace building. Currently it serves as the Institute of Ethiopian studies. It is located inside Sidist Kilo University compound.

Sheik Ojele Palace

SHEH HOJEJE RESIDENCEIt was the former Palace of Sheik Hojele Al-Hassen, who was ruler of Asosa and helped Ras Mekonnen to conquer the Beni Shangul in 1897-1898. The house was built in the beginng of the 20th Century (1890). It was influenced by Indo-Islamic archtitecture. Recently, it serves as residence and school. It is located at Shegole Meda around St. Rufael Church.

Arada Old Post Office /Cinema Ethiopia

Modern postal service was introduced in Ethiopia in 1894 E.C during the reign of emperor Menelik II with the help of Alfred Ilg. The Old Post Office was the first modern post ofice opened in Addis Ababa, on July 1908. It functioned until Italian ocupation in 1935. The elegant two storey building with surrounding verandas burned out by fire in 1936. After renovation, it functioned as Cinema Italia until 1941. Today it hosts Cinema Ethiopia. It is located at Piassa.

Bank of Abyssinia

The Bank of Abyssinia was the first bank in Ethiopia which was established as Anglo –Egyptian company in1905. It was built by the Italian constructor Vaudetto. It is located at Piassa.

Merha Tibeb Printing Press

Merha Tibeb Printing Press was the first printing press which was established in Ethiopia and it is still being used as such. It was built around 1920s. It has a good architectural quality with Stone masonry and semicircular window arches. It is located at Piassa on the road to Sidist Kilo.

Finefine Hotel

Hotel d'Europe ( it's initial name) , located in the hot spings area(Feleweha), served as the banquet hall of Emperor Menelik II. The Filwoha Thermal Springs are those which prompted Queen Taytu to persuade her husband Emperor Menelik II to establish his new capital in Addis Ababa. It was designed by the Armenian Minas Kerbekian in 1915. Later it was reopened on the request of Emperor Haile Sellassie I to improve the spa facilities in the early 1930s. These curative springs are now the site of bathing complexes within the grounds of the Finfine Hotel. It still has its own bathing huts. At present it is serving as Finfine Hotel. It is located at Kazanchez Filwoha area.

Meskel Square

It was built in the late 1930s as a parade square. In 1974, during the reign of the Derg the Square was renamed Abyot (Revolution) Square and decorated with pictures of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Mengistu Hailemaryam. It is in here where the colorful Mesekel festival is celebrated every year on September 26.

The National Palace

Behind the Finfine Hotel is the complex that was once the 7th day Hospital. Most of the complex was included in the Jubilee Palace compound, newly built by Emperor Haile Selassie in the early 1950s. Today only one of the original bulidings still exist, which were established in 1933.It is now security area (President’s Palace) with no access to the public. It is located at Kazanchez.

The parliament

The building was designed by the German architect Mr.Kametz and constructed in time to host the Ethiopian Parliament, which was established in 1931. Original painted panels and decorations of the hall on ground floor were taken away during Italian occupation. The facade had a large mosaic of St. George, but it was removed during the Derg and still hidden. Currently it serves as the office and assembly hall of the House of Peoples Representatives and the House of Federation.It is located at Arat kilo next to the Holy Trinity Church.

Etege Taitu Hotel

Taitu Hotel (1900 E.c)Etege Taytu Hotel was the first hotel in the country and accomodated mostly Ethiopian dignitaries, diplomats and foreigners. It was constructed by the order of Empress Taitu in 1907 and designed by Minas Kerbegian. It is a public building with traditional influence. The first manager of the hotel was Muse Frederic Hal. Currently it is serving as such. It is located at piassa next to the national Lottery administration.

Menelik II Entoto Palace

Before the foundation of Addis Ababa, it was at the top of the rising slope of Entoto mountain range where Menelik II established his capital in 1874E.C (1881 G.C). The building was built under the direction of the Swiss advisor Alfred Ilg. Currently, it serves as a tourist attraction. It is located at Entoto Mountain. The visitor to this palace can ride a taxi, drive a car or even stroll up the steep to reach it at 3200 meters above sea level. The breath of fresh and cool air, the site of the exuberant flora and the pungent aroma of the eucalyptus trees along each side of the road make the trip refreshing.

Leul Mekonen Palace

It was the former residence of "Leul" (Prince) Mekonen, Duke of Harrar and Emperor Haile Selassie's second son. It was designed by the German Architect Kametz and completed in 1935.It is an European styled modern building. Currently, it serves as Ministry of Civil Service. It is located around Shero meda next to American Embassy.

Menelik II School

የመጀመሪያው ዘመናዊ ት.ቤት ምኒልክ ት.ቤትThis was the first modern school in the country which was built in 1908 by the order of Emperor Menelik II. Ras Teferi (the future Haile Sellassie) was one of the first students. Currently it is serving as Menelik II secondary School. It is located at Arat kilo on the road to Amest kilo.