Gondar which is situated in the north western part of the country was once the capital of Ethiopia. Its medieval glory is reflected in the famous castles of Emperors of the time, especially that of Emperor Fasilades. The city's unique imperial precinct contains a dozen castles and fortress-like battlements built by various Emperors during this 236 year period. Enclosed within 900 meters long wall are crenellated castles, palaces, churches and other buildings, some of them still intact enough to give an excellent impression of the area. The Debre Birhan Selassie Church in Gondar town is famous for its "angel head frescoes" that decorate the entire ceiling. Just outside the fortress city, lays the bathing place of Fasilades which these days filled with water once in a year to commemorate the Timket (Ethiopian epiphany) festival. A day excursion by car can be made to visit the magnificently scenic Semien Mountains National Park.