In pictures: The churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia
Ahead of Easter, the BBC's Frank Gardner visits the churches of Ethiopia.
FRANK GARDNERCarved in stone: the extraordinary 12th Century Church of St George at Lalibela. Part of a World Heritage site, it took more than 20 years to carve this church out of the mountainside.
FRANK GARDNERMany Ethiopians trek for miles to reach these churches in time for Palm Sunday. Here a Baptism is taking place.
FRANK GARDNERGlimpsed from a cave: the lichen-covered Church of St Giorgis of Lalibela. This church is considered worldwide as the apex of monolithic religious architecture.
FRANK GARDNERFather Wedaj, who guards the Church of St Giorgis. He blessed those who made a special effort to reach his church at Easter, which is 8 April in the Orthodox calendar.
FRANK GARDNERAn Ethiopian nun at the Church of St Mary of Zion in Axum. The red carpet has been laid out in preparation for the Lent Procession around the church.
FRANK GARDNERPrayer and contemplation. An Ethiopian monk reads the Bible against the wall of the Monastery at St Mary of Zion in Axum.
FRANK GARDNERA chance encounter: a pilgrim (left) passes a nun (right) in a subterranean tunnel carved into the 12th Century church complex at Lalibela.
FRANK GARDNERLent Procession, led by priests, hundreds of pilgrims walk three times around the Church of St Mary of Zion in Axum, asking for forgiveness.
FRANK GARDNERHigh security sanctuary: the chapel in the Church of St Mary of Zion where the Ark of the Covenant is alleged to be kept.
SOURCE : BBC