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Mekelle (Tigrigna: መቐለ also written as Meqele, Makale or Mek’ele) is the capital city of Tigray. It is located around 780 kilometers north of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, at a latitude and longitude of 13°29′N 39°28′E coordinates with an elevation of 2,084 meters above sea level. The city is also refereed to as “The northern Star” or “The city of competing castles” by different writers. The city the second largest in Ethiopia and is an economic, cultural, and political hub in the Northern region of the country. It is also one of Ethiopia’s principal educational centers. Intercity bus service is provided by the Selam Bus Line Share Company and many other cross country bus lines. A new international standard airport, Alula Aba Nega Airport (ICAO code HAMK, IATA MQX), was built in the late 1990s to replace an older one located 7 km (4 miles) from Meqele..
Local industry includes Mesfin Industrial Engineering, a steel fabrication, manufacturing and automobile factory, Messebo Cement Factory, northern Ethiopia’s principal cement production facility; both are companies owned and managed by the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigrai (EFFORT). There are also internationally known garment and textile companies like dbl group, Vogue Velocity, and many more big companies. The city is still calling for investors and has huge incentives reserves for such investments.
In May 2000, Mekelle University was created by the merger of Mekelle Business College and Mekelle University College. Now the University offers one of the best educational services in Ethiopia in its 6 separate campuses. Mekelle Institute of Technology (MIT) is the first of its kind institute technology in Ethiopia established and administered by Tigrai Development Association (TDA) producing highly scholastic graduates. There are several private universities, colleges and high schools. Kellamino Special High School is another first of its kind high school in Ethiopia established and administered by TDA, which started operation in November 2001 with 60 high scorer students.
There are two primary local landmarks in this city. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) monument commemorating the struggle against and overthrow of the Derg, is visible from most of the city.
The other is the palace of Yohannes IV at the northern edge of Mek’ele. It was built at the Emperor’s command by Giacomo Naretti, who had served Yohannes already at Debre Tabor, with the assistance of William Schimper, and completed in 1884. The complex still stands and now serves as a museum, where the Emperor’s throne, royal bed, ceremonial dress, rifles and many other valuable historical collections can be seen.
Other notable landmarks include the churches Enda Gabir, Enda Yesus Mek’ele Bete Mengist, Mek’ele Iyesus, Mek’ele Maryam, Mek’ele Selassie, and Mek’ele Tekle Haymanot. A local market has been held every Monday since at least 1890. Kedamay Woyane is the biggest market complex in the city.
Additionally, several establishments in the city offer accommodation. Among these hotels and guest houses are Planet Hotel, Axum Hotel, Milano Hotel, Yordanos Hotel, Heran Hotel, Top-Hills Hotel, etc.
The Football Club 70 Enderta is a fabulous club winning national championships and premier leagues.
For must see places in Meqele please visit What To See in Meqele.
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