In 1886 the King of Shoa –who became later Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia- decided to move with his court from Ankober to Entoto Mountains. Probably he remembered that his grandfather Sahle Selassie had prophesized that his grandson should build a big house at the foot of Entoto mountains which should develop into a big city. Menelik’s wife Taitu enjoyed it very much to bath in the hot springs at Filwoha and asked her husband to built their new palace there. However, the problem was to get enough fuel wood,which was only available more than 20 km. away. So in 1900 Menelik decided to move his court to Addis Alem, which was situated in the forested mountains. But soon a better solution occured: a foreigner took some eucalyptus seeds and when Menelik saw how quickly these trees were growing, he imported a huge amount of seeds and after some years the Entoto Mountains began to be covered with eucalyptus trees. So the fuel wood problem was solved and Menelik and his household turned back to the Filwoha springs. Queen Taitu gave their new home the name “Addis Abeba” (= new flower) and this was the birth of the new capital. For 20 years the new capital of Ethiopia was only the palace, a few scattered huts and some stone office buildings and the “roads” where muddy tracks. It was during the reign of emperor Haile Selassie that the city began to expand. Special during the Italian occupation there was much building activity and also the quality of the roads was improved.
The cozy and surprisingly fast developing city Hawassa lies 275 Km South of Addis Ababa the capital city of Ethiopia along the asphalt road to Moyale the town at the boarder of Kenya. The altitude of Hawassa is 1665 m above sea level, it has a pleasant climate and also is in a beautiful location on Awassa Lake. Previously, it was the capital ofthe Sidama province and now it is the capital city of the South Nation and Nationalities Peoples Region. (SNNPR) It has a population of 150,000, from 50 different ethnic groups such as Sidama, Wolayta. Hadya. Kambata, Gurge, Amhara, Tigray, Oromo etc. All have their own way of greeting: "Kero". "Saro", "Tumma", "Yimtebel" Tenaystillign," "Kemyalekhum", "Akam" . In this city there are high standard loadges built-up on the traditional style of the different ethenic groups in the southern region and also there are 3 to 5 star hotels avaliable.
HAWASSA AT PRESENT DAY
Hawassa has grown explosively in recent years. On the southwest side of the city large new residential homes have been built, in downtown many old and small shops are demolished and 3-6 storey modern apartment buildings with shopping and offices are erected. Also, in recent years many new hotels are built like Tadesse Injorie, Lewis and Pinna Hotels. At the shores of Lake Hawassa you can enjoy a stay in 5 star Hotels such as the Haile Gebreselassie hotel, built by the famous long distance runner and Lewi Resort.