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Bahir Dar is situated on the southern shore of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile (or Abay), The city is located 578 km north of Addis Ababa, having an elevation of 1840 meters above sea level. Bahir Dar 's origins date to at least the sixteenth or seventeenth century, Pedro Páez is creditted with erecting several buildings in this city, one of which is "a solid, two storey stone structure, with an outside staircase" and can be seen in the compound of the present day Giyorgis church.