The well-preserved royal palace with high battlements is now a historical museum where imperial attributes of the 19th century are stored.
The castle was built by Emperor Johannes IV in the 1870s as the official royal residence. He originally resided in Debra Tabor, where you can still see the ruins of the early imperial palace. Subsequently, Johannes returned to his native region and moved the capital to Mekel, where he lived until his death in 1889 at the battle of Metem.
Besides being known as a great commander, Johannes was also a staunch Christian. Therefore, the emperor erected his palace, surrounded by many temples, to show his commitment to Christianity. The architecture of the imperial palace was designed under the strong influence of the Gondar castles, which served as the home of the emperors of Ethiopia in the XVII-XVIII centuries.