Gondar previously served as the capital of the Ethiopian Empire. The city holds the remains of several royal castles, including those in Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal Enclosure), for which Gondar has been called the “Camelot of Africa”.
King Fasil (Fasiledes) settled in Gondar and established it as a permanent capital in 1636. After Fasil, successive kings continued building, improving the techniques and architectural style. Before its decline in the late eighteenth century, the royal court had developed from a camp into a fortified compound called Fasil Ghebbi, consisting of six major building complexes surrounded by a wall 900 metres long. There are some twenty palaces and royal buildings and thirty churches in the area.
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