Addis Ababa Africa is the capital city of Ethiopia and is the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union. Addis Ababa city is home to the Ethiopian National Library, Ethiopian Ethnological Museum (and former palace), Addis Ababa Museum, Ethiopian Natural History Museum, Ethiopian Railway Museum and the National Postal Museum. Notable buildings: St George's Cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral (once the largest Ethiopian Orthodox Cathedral and the location of to Sylvia Pankhurst's tomb) as well as the burial place of Emperor Haile Selassie and the imperial family. There is also Menelik's old Imperial palace which remains the official seat of government, and the National Palace formerly known as the Jubilee Palace, which is the residence of the President of Ethiopia. The Hager Fikir Theatre, the oldest theatre in Ethiopia, is located at the Piazza district. Africa Hall is located across Menelik II avenue from this Palace and is where the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is headquartered as well as most UN offices in Ethiopia. Across from the Parliament is the Shengo Hall, built by the Derg regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam as its new parliament hall. The Shengo Hall was the world's largest pre-fabricated building, which was constructed in Finland before being assembled in Addis Ababa. Near Bole International Airport is the new Medhane Alem (Savior of the World) Cathedral, which is the second largest in Africa. In the Merkato district, which happens to be the largest open market in Africa, is the impressive Anwar Mosque, the biggest mosque in Ethiopia. Southwest of the Anwar Mosque is the Raguel Church, the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family is also in the Merkato district. Other features of the city include the large Merkato market, the Jan Meda Race Ground racecourse, Bihere Tsige recreation centre and a railway line to Djibouti. Sport facilities include Addis Ababa and Nyala Stadiums. Suburbs of the city include Shiro Meda and Entoto in the north, Urael and Bole (home to Bole International Airport) in the east, Nifas Silk in the south-east, Mekanisa in the south and Keraniyo and Kolfe in the west.
Addis Ababa History Addis Ababa was founded by the Ethiopian emperor Menelik II. However ethnic Oromo Ethiopians who have lived on the land claim that this city has been founded & owned by Oromo people many centuries earlier. Before Menelik came, the land was known by the Oromo name Finfinne. Menelik, as King of Shewa had found Mount Entoto a useful base for military operations in the south of his realm, and in 1879 visited the reputed ruins of a medieval town, and an unfinished rock church that showed proof of an Ethiopian presence in the area prior to the campaigns of Ahmad Gragn. His interest in the area grew when his wife Taytu began work on a church on Entoto, and Menelik endowed a second church in the area. However the immediate area did not encourage the founding of a town due to the lack of firewood and water, so settlement actually began in the valley south of the mountain in 1886. Initially, Taytu built a house for herself near the "Filwoha" hot mineral springs, known to the local Oromo people as Finfinne, where she and members of the Showan Royal Court liked to take mineral baths. Other nobility and their staffs and households settled the vicinity, and Menelik expanded his wife's house to become the Imperial Palace which remains the seat of government in Addis Ababa today. Addis Ababa became Ethiopia's capital when Menelik II became Emperor of Ethiopia. The town grew by leaps and bounds. One of Emperor Menelik's contributions that is still visible today is the planting of numerous eucalyptus trees along the city streets.
Addis Ababa Transportation Addis Ababa public transportation is through public buses or blue and white share taxis, locally known as "blue donkeys". The taxis are usually minibuses that can sit at least twelve people. The city is served by Bole International Airport, where a new terminal opened in 2003. Addis Ababa also has a railway connection with Djibouti City, with a picturesque French style railway station.
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