Some girls dancing near the monastery of Nakuto Lab, outside Lalibela to earn some tip with tourists. In Lalibela there are eleven churches carved in stone, to 2,700 m. above sea level and about 700 km. of the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. They have been dated between the XII - XIII and referred to as "the Black Jerusalem." It is attributed to King Lalibela (XIII century) who was later canonized by the Ethiopian church and has been regarded by Europeans as the famous Prester John. The impact caused the first churches that look is so great that the first European that saw the Portuguese priest Francisco Alvarez, eliminated him why your chronic thought no one would believe. The buildings are monolithic, carved on a sloping mass of red volcanic earth, seated on a layer of dark gray basalt, on both sides of the Jordan River and connected by tunnels and corridors with openings to hermit caves and catacombs. Some are of a basilica, with archaic features that mimic architectural elements from earlier periods, but also differ from each other in design and style. Two of them are decorated with interesting wall paintings and carved figures. It is said that King Lalibela took 24 years to build. They have been classified into three different groups: churches built in caves, simple structures built inside a natural cave (Makina Medhane Alem, Yemrehanna Kristos); churches carved into the rock, are all those carved into a rock wall and, sometimes, using an existing cave to widen (Aba Libanos, Bete Meskel, Bete Denagil) monolithic churches, oradadas in the rock in one piece and separated from it by trenches on all sides except for base (Bete Medhane Alem, Bete Mariam , Bete Emanuel, Bete Giorgis). Erosion caused mainly by weather is deteriorating the stone surface of all the churches so they need urgent restoration. The main ones are the church of Medhane Alem, Maryam, of Ammanue, that of Giyorgis and Golgota-Mikail. In Lalibela are still practiced the same religions and rites that 800 years ago and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians is a second Holy Land, with its bed renamed Jordan and Mount Drum. Lalibela is the best example of archaic Christianity, because in live no less than 350 priests, 250 deacons, 400 novices and several hundred monks, all in a highly hierarchical structure.