In 1886 the city, then known as Finfinnie, was chosen by Menelik II as the capital of his kingdom of Shoa and was renamed Addis Ababa. In 1889 it was made the capital of Ethiopia. In 1936 (during the Italo-Ethiopian War), Italy captured Addis Ababa and made it the capital of Italian East Africa. The city was recaptured by the Allies in 1941 and returned to Ethiopian rule. After World War II, the city experienced rapid growth.
The African Union (AU; the successor of the Organization of African Unity) and the UN Economic Commission on Africa are headquartered in Addis Ababa, which also hosts numerous international conferences. The Univ. of Addis Ababa, whose Institute of Ethiopian Studies runs an ethnological and traditional arts museum, and Ethiopian National Theatre are in Addis Ababa. The AU center, the imperial palace, the parliament building, and the Coptic and Roman Catholic cathedrals are notable buildings.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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