Resurrecting History – Renovating Etege Taitu Hotel
When the candour of the news concerning the first hotel in Ethiopia, built at the whim of Empress Taitu in 1907 was burnt by fire blaze, it shocked many Ethiopians locally and abroad. Being the oldest hotel in Addis, the main building of Etege Taitu Hotel is also virtually a museum piece full of beautiful old furniture and high ceilings.
The blocks contained a wide range of rooms, including some very jolly doubles. There are plenty of facilities, a lovely garden in which breakfast is served and lots of other travellers to hang out with. All up it offers a cash-strapped overland a classy experience for very little coin. Many thought all these are gone by the fire and the grief was deep.
It all started on early Sunday morning, 11 January 2015. That morning the hotel was on fire. With the cooperation of the fire brigade, government agencies, neighbours, guests and Taitu staffs, it was managed to save substantial part of the historical building, as was reported by the management of the hotel.
The thing is, however, the damage was actually solemn; especially considering the historical values of the hotel, which should be kept intact without any infusion of modern technology. During and after the fire accident, the General Manager of the hotel told the writer of this story to have received numerous phone calls, emails and personal visits from patronages.