Lake Hayke and 13th century Istifanos Monastery
Istifanos Monastery (or St Stephen Monastery

Istifanos Monastery (or St Stephen Monastery) is a monastery in Ethiopia, located in Lake Hayq. (The Stephen commemorated at the monastery is not the Saint Stephen of Acts.) The structure was built around an 8th century church of Axum origins by Emperor Yekuno Amlak to fulfill a promise he made to Iyasus Mo’a.

The monastery is responsible for producing five people, known as “Lights” (or important sources of knowledge and Christian salvation) of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

One of these Lights was Saint Tekle Haymanot, who was educated in this monastery, and helped to convert Shewa and other southern provinces by ministering and building churches.