Addis Ababa The capital city of Ethiopia and the 3rd highest capital city with the altitude of 2300-3200 meters above sea level it is the largest city in Ethiopia, with a population of 3,384,569 according to the 2007 population census. Addis Ababa is African Union and its predecessor the OAU are based. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and numerous other continental and international organizations. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as "the political capital of Africa", due to its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent.
The site of Addis Ababa was chosen by Empress Taytu Betul and the city was founded in 1886 by her husband, Emperor Menelik II. The name of the city was taken from parts of the city called hora Finfinnee ("hot springs") in Oromo language. Another Oromo name of the city is Sheger. Menelik, as initially a King of the Shewa province, had found Mount Entoto a useful base for military operations in the south of his realm, and in 1879 visited the reputed ruins of a medieval town, and an unfinished rock church that showed proof of an Ethiopian presence in the area prior to the campaigns of Ahmad Gragn. His interest in the area grew when his wife Taytu began work on a church on Entoto, and Menelik endowed a second church in the area