Overview of the city of Lalibela. Lalibela is a monastic city of northern Ethiopia, the country's second holy city, after Aksum, is an important pilgrimage center. Its population belongs almost entirely to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It is located in the federal state of Amhara, at 2,500 m. According to the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia, its population was 14,668 in 2005, 7049 men and 7619 women. Lalibela, formerly called Roha, was the capital of the dynasty Zague. It received its current name of King Lalibela Gebra Maskal (1172-1212), canonized by the Ethiopian Church, which wanted to build a new city in Jerusalem in response to the conquest of the Holy Land by Muslims. Many of its historic buildings take their name from buildings in that city. The city is home to the famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela in, built during the reign of Lalibela Maskal Gebra and declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1978. The flagship is the Beta Girorgios (The house of St. George) with a Greek cross and fifty feet high, carved entirely in the roca.Cerca of churches are Ashetan Maryam monastery and church of Yemrehana Krestos, XI century, built Axumite style, housed in a cave.