Eritrea 2018 - 10: Religions of Asmara III (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
Eritrea 2018 - 9: Asmara Workshops II (50 p.)

Video for this series:

October 25 2018

Thursday morning the giant African spurred tortoise constantly followed us while 202.008 was shunting.

Christmas stars in nature, although brought to Africa as a decorative plant.

Only 442.56 remained at the depot as both other class 442s were stranded at Arbaroba.

The turntable was about to cause trouble as well.

After the lunch visit to town - see previous report part - we returned to the station with administrative building at 3 p.m.

The tortoise possessed stamina to no end.

440.008 known from the first days had been fired up. The turntable got jammed in a position blocking the track to the back of the depot and 442.56.

440.008 was also helped by water buckets.

Busy sickle-grass-mowers.

Two of the 34 Krupp goods wagons ordered in 1966.

October 28 2018

We continue our sightseeing tour of the city Sunday morning.

The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary - cathedral until 1995 - had been erected 1921–1923 in Lombard Romanesque style.,_Asmara

One of the typical (former) information boards along Harnet Avenue.

A mass was being celebrated inside the church.

Selfie sticks have made it to Eritrea. Dubai duty-free seems to be one of the main supply sources for the black market, as I already had noticed on the flight here.

We were let into the yard of the monastery also including a school.

The 185 ft high campanile still is the tallest building in Asmara, sadly we could not climb it. Elements of the architecture are supposed to remind of the Big Ben tower.

Market halls including fish market in the vicinity.

View past the market towards the mosque.

The Great Mosque of Asmara was ordered to be built in 1938 by Mussolini to please the population of Muslim belief, about 50 percent of residents.

The square is framed by art deco buildings.

Sadly, it remained locked as well.

An industrious young man operated a car wash business around the market - of course using yellow canisters. Also note the improvised "Apple". ;-)

Several wedding parties could be spotted that Sunday, bride and groom mostly riding Mercedes.

We moved on towards Cinema Impero from 1937 - named after Mussolini's fictional "new Roman empire".

The cinema still is active. The 2018 propaganda poster does not sound too optimistic, but at least it includes a picture of Delhi metro - for whatever obscure reason.

Cinema hall or antique temple?

Westward view along Harnet/"Freedom" Avenue.

View east towards the station.
The administration of Ma'ekel Region around Asmara to the right:

Yellow letterboxes carry the strange pseudo-English inscription "Posting Box". Yellow canisters are as multipurpose as it gets.

Interesting assortment, but hardly anyone can afford shopping.

We drove to the large lively square in front of the Eritrean Orthodox cathedral and behind the mosque.

Old vehicle and colourful ladies.

The parasols feature pictures of Jesus.

Entrance to (E)Nda Mariam Cathedral built 1917-20:,_Asmara

Left to right: Catholic church, mosque and gate of the Coptic cathedral. Not visible: the synagogue and Greek Orthodox church. Asmara truly is a melting pot of world religions. However, it cannot be forgotten that for example members of evangelical churches are being persecuted by the regime.

Mosaics above the entrance had been added in 1938, at least showing African figures in Biblical scenes. This was a spot of Christian churches since the 7th century. The Ark of the Covenant is supposed to have been kept here in the 4th century BCE.


Let's rest a bit.

We are about to visit a few more spots in Asmara next time, the final two days we will go full steam ahead again! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to