Menelik II


Meaza Restaurant
Location: 5700 Columbia Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041

The walls of Meaza Restaurant in Falls Church contain murals of Ethiopia rulers including Emperor Menelik II.

Mural of Emperor Menelik II  Photo of mural: Africa Access

“One of Ethiopia’s greatest rulers, [Menelik I] expanded the empire almost to its present-day borders, repelled an Italian invasion in 1896, and carried out a wide-ranging program of modernization” (Encyclopedia Britiannica

Menelik (1844-1913), crown prince of the Shoa kingdom in central Ethiopia, developed a powerful army. After the death of Yohannes IV, he seized the throne of all of Ethiopia. With his wife Taitu’s help he defeated the invading Italians in a series of battles culminating in a crushing blow at battle of Adwoa in 1896. “He was a brillant administrator and immediately began organizing the empire along new lines. A standing army was established, a national tax system was put in place, and a centralized administration was created. Under the influence of Taitu he established a new capital at Addis Ababa, with paved streets, hospitals and schools.  Menelik institute a national currency, a printing press, and a postal system and began a rail link to the coast…” (Brockman, 322-323).




Equestrian statue of Emperor Menelik II  Addis Ababa, Saint George square,  November 1st 1930,

Menelik II at Adwa, French Newspaper

Photos: Wikimedia Commons


Brockman, Norbert. An African Biographical Dictionary. Grey House Publishing, 2006.

“Emperor Menelik II.” Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Youtube. Accessed September 16, 2020.

Greenfield, Richard David. “Menelik II.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., Accessed September 13, 2020.

“Menelik II, Independence in the Age of Imperialism.” NBC News Learn, Youtube Accessed September 16, 2020.