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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adowa

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ADOWA (properly Adua), the capital of Tigré, northern Abyssinia, 145 m. N.E. of Gondar and 17 m. E. by N. of Axum, the ancient capital of Abyssinia. Adowa is built on the slope of a hill at an elevation of 6500 ft., in the midst of a rich agricultural district. Being on the high road from Massawa to central Abyssinia, it is a meeting-place of merchants from Arabia and the Sudan for the exchange of foreign merchandise with the products of the country. During the wars between the Italians and Abyssinia (1887–96) Adowa was on three or four occasions looted and burnt; but the churches escaped destruction. The church of the Holy Trinity, one of the largest in Abyssinia, contains numerous wall-paintings of native art. On a hill about 2½ m. north-west of Adowa are the ruins of Fremona, the headquarters of the Portuguese Jesuits who lived in Abyssinia during the 16th and 17th centuries. On the 1st of March 1896, in the hills north of the town, was fought the battle of Adowa, in which the Abyssinian inflicted a crushing defeat on the Italian forces (see Italy, History, and Abyssinia, History).