Lalibela's famous stone-hewn monolithic churches were constructed in the 13th century by King Lalibela who after access to Jerusalem had been cut off for his people, sought to establish a New Jerusalem. Almost every holy site found in Jerusalem has an equivalent in Lalibela. Life and rituals are much the same here as they have been for centuries. This place retains great spiritual meaning for the Orthodox Christians of Ethiopia. The churches themselves are a cultural and engineering wonder and are a UNESCO World Heritage site.