The Palace of the Crown Prince
The Palace of the Crown Prince of Ethiopia is located north of Sidist Kilo, across the street from the grounds of the Guenete Leul Palace (Addis Ababa University) and next to the Church of the Savior of the World (Meskahazunan Medhane Alem). Built as a residence for Lij Eyasu while he was Crown Prince, the prince seldom stayed there as he traveled around the Empire. It is a spacioius palace set in lovely gardens, with beautiful fountains stocked with gold fish. Crown Prince Asfaw Wossen took up residence after his first marriage to Princess Wolette Israel Seyoum. He returned to this Palace after the liberation of 1941 a divorced man, and continued to live there after his remarriage to Princess Medferiashwork Abebe. Following the fall of the monarchy in 1974, the Derg turned the palace into the Political College for the training of communist cadres. A large bust of Karl Marx was placed at the entrance, and many classroom and dormitory facilites were built on the grounds. In 1991, when the EPRDF marched into Addis Ababa and assumed control of the government, the former members of the Derg and the highest officials of the Communist government were arrested and imprisoned temporarily at this former palace/political school. They were later moved elsewhere.
The Duke of Harrar’s Palace
This Palace was built for Emperor Haile Selassie’s second son, Prince Makonnen, Duke of Harrar, and his family in Addis Ababa. It is located North of Sidist Kilo and north of the Crown Prince’s Palace. This grand mansion remains one of the more imposing houses in the city. Following the death of the Duke in 1958, Princess Sara Gizaw, Duchess of Harrar, and her sons continued to live in this palace right up to September 1974 when the monarchy fell. When the women and children of the Imperial family were initially rounded up during the seizure of power by the Derg, they were first imprissoned at this Palace before being transfered a couple of months later to the Kerchele Akaki (Alem Bekagn) prison. The Derg later made the palace the Headquarters of the Ethiopian Socialist Women’s Association (an associated group for the ruling “Workers Party of Ethiopia”). The innaugural cermonies of this association at this palace served as the first public function carried out in an official capacity by Woizero Wubanchi Bishaw, wife of the President Mengistu Haile Mariam. There were rumors that the Palace was being renovated in 1993 to serve as the official residence for the President of the Federal Republic following the EPRDF’s assent to power, but the President moved into the Jubilee Palace instead.