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Gondar or Gonder (both: gŏnˈdər) [key], town (1994 pop. 112,249), capital of Amhara region, NW Ethiopia, at an altitude of c.7,300 ft (2,225 m). It is a regional trade center and a tourist destination. Once Ethiopia's largest city and a center of religion and art, Gondar served as the capital of Ethiopia from c.1635 to 1867. In the 19th cent. the city declined, and in 1887 it was sacked by Sudanese Mahdists (see Mahdi). The city had a large concentration of Falashas (Ethiopian Jews), but most have emigrated to Israel. Gondar is noted for its architectural ruins. It has a university medical school.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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