Located north of Lake Tana, which was the capital city of Ethiopia during 17th and 18th century and home for a number of emperors and warlords who built the oldest and the most impressive several castles and palaces around the area which is reflect the Gondrian structure built of a roughly hewn brown
basalt stone held together with mortar, the open air bath of king Fasiladas, now baptismal place during the Ethiopian Epiphany, at January 19th, the ruined palace of empress Mintewab where the Scottish explorer James Bruce reside for sometime and the famous church of Debre Birhan Silassie (Light of Trinity) with its wonderful murals.
Gondar traditionally was divided into several neighborhoods or quarters: Addis Alem, where the Muslim inhabitants dwelled; Kayla Meda, where the adherents of Beta Israel lived; Abun Bet, centered on the residence of the Abuna, or nominal head of the Ethiopian Church; and Qagn Bet, home to the nobility. Gondar is also a noted center of ecclesiastical learning of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and known for having 44 churches – for many years more than any other settlement in Ethiopia. Gondar and its surrounding countryside constitute the homeland of most Ethiopian Jews.
The modern city of Gondar is popular as a tourist destination for its many picturesque ruins in Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal Enclosure), from which the emperors once reigned. The most famous buildings in the city lie in the Royal Enclosure, which include Fasilides’ castle, Iyasu’s palace, Dawit’s Hall, a banqueting hall, stables, Empress Mentewab’s castle, a chancellery, library and three churches. Near the city lie Fasilides’ Bath, home to an annual ceremony where it is blessed and then opened for bathing; the Qusquam complex, built by Empress Mentewab; the eighteenth century Ras Mikael Sehul’s Palace and the Debre Berhan Selassie Church.