A priest sits majestically with his cross in front of the Monastery of Birgida Maryam on one of the islands of Lake Tana. Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia is the source of the Blue Nile which begins its long journey to Khartoum and on to the Mediterranean. The 37 islands that are scattered over the surface of the churches and monastries wrap fascinating lake, some of which have histories dating back to the thirteenth century. However, it should be noted that most of the religious houses are not open to women. The most interesting islands are: Birgida Mariam, Dega Estefanous, DEK, Narga, Tana Cherkos, Mitsele Fasiledes, Kebran and Debre Maryam. Kebran Gabriel is the principal monastery can be visited by male tourists from Bahar Dar with its impressive Cathedral-like building first built at the end of the 17th century. Estephanos Dega, which is also closed to women, is on an island in the lake, and is reached by a very steep and winding path. Although the church is relatively new (only hundred years), contains a Madonna painted in the fifteenth century. However, the Treasury of the monastery is a prime attraction with the remains of several emperors, their costumes and jewelry.