The church of Yemrehanna Kristos is one of Ethiopia's best-preserved late Axumite churches, and is named after a twelfth-century Zagwe priest-king and saint.
It is set in a spectacular landscape of juniper trees located inside a large natural cavern on a hill in northern Ethiopia. It is one century older than the famous nearby rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.
The walls of the building were constructed with alternating layers of recessed timber beams and projecting plastered stone, and the windows are covered by carved cruciform lattices.
The interior is divided into a nave and two side aisles by masonry pillars and arches, with a domed sanctuary on the east end.
All interior wood surfaces, including the paneled ceilings, are elaborately decorated with carved geometric designs and polychrome. The walls are painted with polychrome murals depicting scenes from the Bible.
Priests and hermits still live at Yemrehanna Kristos, and the church is a place of pilgrimage.
Over the centuries many pilgrims came to the church to die, and their remains are buried behind the structure.