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Gorgora

The leafy small port of Gorgora, on the northern Lake Tana shore 65km south of Gondar, is highly rewarding for birdwatchers. It is also the site of Debre Sina Maryam, a monastic church founded in the 14th century with some of the country’s oldest surviving paintings, executed in the 1620s under the patronage of Melakotawit, the elder sister of Emperor Fasil. The church’s most valuable treasure is a glass-covered portrait of the Virgin Mary claimed locally to have been painted during her exile in Egypt and later transported to Ethiopia. The little visited peninsula of Old Gorgora, 10km west of its newer namesake, houses the most remote of the sites that comprise the Fasil Ghebbi World Heritage Site: a ruined castle and Catholic church called Maryam Gimb.