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Bahir Dar is one of the leading tourist destinations in Ethiopia with a variety of attractions in the nearby Lake Tana and Blue Nile River. The city is distinctly known for its wide avenues lined with palm trees and a variety of colorful flowers.

The 2002 awarded by UNESCO entitled ‘’UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize’’ for managing to address the challenges of rapid urbanization can be taken as a witness.

Bahir Dar grew around a Jesuit settlement, founded in the second half of sixteenth century. The next mention of Bahir Dar is in the mid- 19th century. Tewodros II used the city as a camping spot for his army.

Bahir Dar is a tourist destination to many. Among most visited places in Bahir Dar is Lake Tana which also is spelled T'ana, Amharic: ጣና ሐይቅ Ṭānā Hāyḳ,"Lake Tana," an older variant is Tsana, Ge'ez ጻና Ṣānā; sometimes called "Dembiya" after the region to the north of the lake. It is the source of the Blue Nile and is the largest lake in Ethiopia.

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