Crosses

Needless to say, as we are all aware, especially when viewing vampire films, crosses in their Christian symbolism are apotropaic.

In Ethiopia we have a number of crosses which are less than generic.

The first of which are actual church buildings, hewn and shaped both externally and internally from the rock itself, in the shape of a cross. The cross on the example below is also triple in nature, with three raised cross shapes (Greek Crosses) existing to its roof, indicative of the Holy Trinity.

As with European and British religious buildings, often they present in their sacred geometric architecture the shape of the cross, and hence Christ’s body, however, here we have a square shaped cross which is markedly different.

The Rock Hewn Cruciform Shaped Church at Beta Giyorgis Rock-Hewn Church, 12th-13th Century AD, Lalibela

This same church also has internally, crosses carved out of its stone ceiling, looking down upon the church’s occupants.

This therefore strongly ensures that no evil should ever enter its walls.

Carved Crosses to the Rock Cut Ceiling at Beta Giyorgis Rock-Hewn Church, 12th-13th Century AD, Lalibela

At Tcherqos Agabo timber church, we find a window with a cross shaped mullion and transom.

Cross to a Window at Tcherqos Agabo Timber Church, 8th Century AD, Tigray

Cross to Two Stone Windows at Beta Madhane Alem (Church of the Saviour of the World), 12th-14th Century AD, Lalibela

Cross to a Stone Window at Beta Madhane Alem (Church of the Saviour of the World), 12th-14th Century AD, Lalibela

Two Stone Cross Windows at Beta Mika’el (Church of Michael), 12th-14th Century AD, Lalibela

On a protruding timber beneath an arch, or at the terminal of an interrupted tie beam, is a console bracket with some decorative carving, including a stylised square cross.

Cross to a Protruding Timber or Interrupted Tie Beam Terminal Console Bracket at Tcherqos Agabo Timber Church, 8th Century AD, Tigray

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