In the 10thcentury, the Solomonids were overthrown and replaced by the Zagwe dynasty, the ruling family of a region on the central plateau known as Lasta. Lalibela, an Ethiopian town renowned for its ancient churches carved from solid rock. The 11churches are regarded as one the wonders of the world, excavated from solid rock with immense underground maze of tunnels and passages.
There are two main groups of churches, with another church dedicated to Saint George a short distance away. Ethiopian traditions connect them with the most famous king of the Zagwe dynasty, and the town, formerly known as Roha, has come to be known by that Kings name.
The Life of Lalibela describes how king Lalibela (who ruled from the late 12th to the early 13th centuries) was carried away to the heavenly Jerusalem. There he was instructed to build the churches. Angels worked beside his men as they cut each one from the rock, and then kept working through the night. And he finalized it within 23 years.