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Ethiopia Today: Zege Peninsula – Lake Tana – Bahir Dar

The Zege Peninsula is located on the southern shore of Lake Tana in Ethiopia. It is 600 km northwest of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia, and is the source of the Blue Nile river. The peninsula is attached to dry land on its western part. As a place name, the word “zege” signifies a peninsula that encloses two rural qebele, the former monastery and Zägé town at the gate of the main land of the peninsula. At present, Zegé is part of Bahir Dar city administration, and is 32 km from the main town, the capital of Amhara National Regional State. The origin of the term “zegié” is somewhat obscure. Informants from Ura Kidane miheret monastic church, one of the earliest church in the peninsula associated the term to Debra Zegag and Abba Nahom; where as some monks who were servants of Mähal Zegié Giyorgis attributed the term to Zengie (my shaft) and to Abun Betre Maryam, founder of Zegie monastery. Still another church scholar, Aleqa Aynakulu Mersha, related the term to a name of a tribe called Zegie (Aleqa Aynekulu) 1955 E.C:466; Tadese Tamrat, 1994:954-959). On the peninsula of Zege there are six Monastic churches, all established between the 14th and 17th centuries.

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