Dungur Palace (Queen of Sheba Palace)

Athough archaeologists are divided over whether it was Queen Sheba’s palace or the 6th century AD mansion of a nobleman, Dungur Palace is one of the popular site to visit in Axum

Axum, Ethiopia

Coordinates: 14.126926, 38.706534

Dungur is the ruins of a substantial mansion in Aksum, Ethiopia, the former capital city of the Kingdom of Aksum.

The ruins are in the western part of Aksum, across the road from the Gudit stelae field.

Dungur is known locally and popularly as the Palace of the Queen of Sheba (i.e. the Palace of Makeda in Ethiopia).

The Ethiopians are adamant that the Queen of Sheba was theirs, not a Yemeni lady, and there are strong arguments to support that view, starting with this palace.

Whether it was indeed Sheba’s or not, it is an extensive footprint of ancient times, and this is worth the short trip to the edge of Axum to see this palace.

There is still a lot to be discovered. There are about 52 rooms and apartments, kitchen or a place with a huge oven. Drainage system and a place for bath. Remnants of pillars can be seen.

Difference of Opinions

If you are in the area it is worth a stop & it is interesting to hear the tour guides “version” of the palace & place in history.

However, there is differences of opinion if it actually is the palace of the queen of Sheba and I wouldn’t go much out of my way to see it.

The archeologists have dated it as being built long after the queen was supposed to have lived.

Archaeologists are divided over whether it was the great woman’s palace or the 6th century AD mansion of a nobleman.

Find during recent excavations of a relief carving depicting a beautiful woman (in the museum at St Mary of Zion Church) has caused some to wonder whether her palace may lie beneath the current ruins.

Know This

The tickets should be bought in the ticket office in the middle of Axum, otherwise you have to go or drive back 3 km and buy them.

You can do your own research and either walk (it’s a little distance from town, so be ready for a good walk) or take a tuk-tuk.