GONDAR, properly Guendar, a town of Abyssinia, formerly the capital of the Amharic kingdom, situated on a basaltic ridge some 7500 ft.
Gondar was a small village when at the beginning of the 16th century it was chosen by the Negus Sysenius (Seged I.) as the capital of his kingdom.
This was erected about 1736, at which time Gondar appears to have been at the height of its prosperity.
After the defeat of the Abyssinians at Debra Sin in August 1887 Gondar was looted and fired by the dervishes under Abu Anga.
Since the pacification of the Sudan by the British (1886-1889) there has been some revival of trade between Gondar and the regions of the Blue Nile.
Unlike any other buildings in Abyssinia, the castles and palaces of Gondar resemble, with some modifications, the medieval fortresses of Europe, the style of architecture being the result of the presence in the country of numbers of Portuguese.
The exterior walls of the castles and palaces named are little damaged and give to Gondar a unique character among African towns.
Of the forty-four churches, all in the circular Abyssinian style, which are said to have formerly existed in Gondar or its immediate neighbourhood, Major Powell-Cotton found only one intact in woo.
This church contained some well-executed native paintings of St George and the Dragon, The Last Supper, &c. Among the religious observances of the Christians of Gondar is that of bathing in large crowds in the Gaha on the Feast of the Baptist, and again, though in more orderly fashion, on Christmas day.
Of Gondar, the capital of Amhara, and being on the main route from Sennar to Abyssinia, is a trade centre of some importance.
From Gallabat a dervish raiding party penetrated to Gondar, which they looted.
The chief town, Gondar, by which name the province is also known, was the residence of the negus negusti, or emperor, of Abyssinia from the middle ages up to 1854.
Of Gondar and 17 m.
Abu Angar entered Abyssinia and, in August 1887, attacked Ras Adal in the plain of Debra Sin and, after a prolonged battle, defeated the Abyssinians, captured their camp, and marched on Gondar, the ancient capital of Abyssinia, which he sacked, and then returned into Gallabat.
Of the country; Amhara or Gondar, in the centre; Gojam, the district enclosed by the great semicircular sweep of the Abai; and Shoa, which lies east of the Abai and south of Amhara.
In the middle ages Gondar in Amhara became the capital of the country and was so regarded up to the middle of the 19th century.
Ambra-Mariam, a fortified station midway between Gondar and Debra-Tabor near the north-east side of Lake Tsana, with a population of 3000; here is the famous shrine and church dedicated to St Mary, whence the name of the place, "Fort St Mary."
Accordingly, leaving Massawa in September 1769, he travelled via Axum to Gondar, where he was well received by King Tekla Haimanot II.
Bearing these matters in mind, we find that during the 18th century the most prominent and beneficent rulers were the emperor Yesu of Gondar, who died about 1720, Sebastie, negus of Shoa (1703-1718), Amada Yesus of Shoa, who extended his kingdom and founded Ankober (1743-1774), Tekla Giorgis of Amhara (1770-1798?) and Asfa Nassen of Shoa (1774-1807), the latter being especially renowned as a wise and benevolent monarch.
The first years of the 19th century were disturbed by fierce campaigns between Guxa, ras of Gondar, and Wolda Selassie, ras of Tigre, who were both striving for the crown of Guxa's master, the emperor Eguala Izeion.
Mr (afterwards Bishop) Gobat proceeded to Gondar, where he also met with a favourable reception.
Melicoth at once proclaimed himself negus, and by sending for Massaja, who had arrived at Gondar, gave rise to the suspicion that he wished to have himself crowned as emperor.
Menelek was handed over to the negus, taken to Gondar, and there trained in Theodore's service.
Gordon, governor-general of the Sudan, was now ordered to go and make peace with John, but the king had moved south with his army, intending to punish Menelek for having raided Gondar whilst he, John, was engaged with the Egyptians.
(24) Immediately the news of John's death reached Menelek, he proclaimed himself emperor, and received the submission of Gondar, Gojam and several other provinces.