House of Ras Kebede Mengesha

Ras kebede was the son of [Ras Mangesha Atikem and Woiezero Tenagne. He was born in Gojjam province in a locality of Bichena in 1869.

He was first appointed Dejjazmach and become the governor of kifle-berehane, which was a district in Gojjam province. After he was appointed to the highest rank of Ras he had been the governor of Yedjju. Wollo, Goriana, and Effrta districts.

Ras Kebede Mengesha has served as one of the distinguished Mayechew front commander, which took place between Ethiopia and fascist Italia; he was taken captive . Later, he was freed and died in 1939. His remains rested near the tomb of his father at Arat killo Trinity Cathedral here in Addis Abeba.

Ras kebede have had built this house in 1890 to hosting people for gibir(party or feast) and to receive distinguished people from all walks of life. The houses engineering work was carried out by Armenians and the masonry work by Arabs while the Indians participated in carpentry. Ethiopians professionals and the soldiers of Ras Kebede also contributed a lot for the completion of this building.

All the floors, windows and doors are made up of thick indigenous woods. It has two large verandas in the front and at back of the entrance. The verandas are framed with glasses and on the two doors, there are twelve engraved vases decorated with flowers and four peacock-like birds.

In the center of the house, there is a hall with a height of eight meters. It has also four large rooms including a bath room. After the death of Ras Kebede Mengesha  other nearest relatives inherited the house. They had lived in this historical house for years; later on, the house was confiscated by the Derg regime and served as Kebele office for years.

This ancient house never had any kind of repair or renovation, except a minor white wash by Woiezero Almaz before it was confiscated by the Derg regine

Ethiopian heritage trust took possession of this old building, renovated and made it headquarter since 2004.


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