For a large number of years in ancient time, Axum had been served as a political and religious center of Ethiopia. It was the capital of the Axumite Kingdom and considered as the first well-known permanent capital in the history of the country. It has still a considerable symbolic role for the Ethiopian Church and state. During Its long history, Axum greatly contributed too many human developments. It has been a repository of tremendous archaeological and historical treasures including the stelae, the rock-tombs, temples, the palaces, the stone thrones and others.Axum, Ethiopia’s most ancient city, and capital of one of the most glorious empires of the past, is one of the most illustrious links in the Historic Route. The Axumite Empire flourished 3000 years ago. Its riches can still be pictured on the magnificent stelae or obelisks, the graves of Kings Kaleb and GebreMeskel, and the Legendary Bath of the Queen of Sheba.The 16th century Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion was built in the compound of an earlier 4th century church, and is the holiest church in Ethiopia. In its sanctuary is said to rest the original Ark of the Covenant.The churches and monasteries of Axum are richly endowed with icons, and some of the historical crowns of ancient Emperors.