Twin City Addis Abeba (Ethiopia)
History and profile of the twin city
The capital of Ethiopia lies at an average elevation of 2400 m above sea level, making it the world's third-highest city. The Amharic translation of Addis Ababa is 'New flower' and this is no exaggeration: there is green everywhere. Avenues of trees, above all eucalyptus trees, clear mountain air and the aromatic scent of blossom mixed with coffee and incense create a mixture which is unique to Ethiopia. The city dominates the Horn of Africa as its largest market place, transport intersection and political centre.
However, the city's history did not begin until the end of the 19th century when King Menelik II moved the seat of his government there. In 1889 the foundation stone for the Imperial Palace was laid. In the years which followed the city grew with the construction of the railway line to Djibouti, with the first trains reaching Addis Ababa in 1917. Diplomatic relations between Germany and the Imperial Kingdom of Ethiopia were instituted in 1905. In addition to a short colonial epoch in the previously independent African imperial state the invasion of the country by the Italians (1936 – 1941) also led to the expansion of the city.
Today the "secret capital of Africa" offers a highly diverse urban picture. International and pan-African organisations have their headquarters here and give the city an especially cosmopolitan atmosphere. Architecturally it is dominated by public buildings such as the African Union (AU) complex, Africa Hall, the National Museum, the University, City Hall, the National Palace as well as a number of museums, churches and mosques. However, the traditional life of the people at colourful markets and in their huts is also part of the 'New flower' and influences the pace and flair of this city with its 5 million inhabitants.
Facts and Figures
Capital of the Democratic Federal Republic of Ethiopia
Population: approx. five million inhabitants
Twinned with Leipzig since 2004
Sights worth seeing
St George's Cathedral
- Entoto Mountain (on a plateau above 3000m)