Taitu (Taytu) Betul

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

The walls of Meaza Restaurant in Falls Church contain murals of Ethiopia rulers including Empress Taitu.

Empress Taitu (Taytu)  Photo: Africa Access













“Taytu Betul (c.1851–1918) was a formidable queen and empress of Ethiopia. An astute diplomat, she proved to be a key figure in thwarting Italian imperialist designs on Ethiopia. Later, she and her husband Emperor Menelik II, led a huge army to battle at Adwa, where they won one of the most important victories of any African army against European colonialist aggression” “Taytu Betul, The Rise of an Itege ( UNESCO).”

“The empress Taitu, wife of Emperor Menilek II (reigned 1889–1913), persuaded the emperor to build a house near the hot springs at the foot of the tableland and to grant land in the area to members of the nobility. The city was thus founded in 1887 and was named Addis Ababa (“New Flower”) by the empress. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

“Taitu (d. 1918) was a strong-willed woman who forged a powerful alliance with her husband, promoting his career and then replacing him when he was incapacitated….Taitu was a remarkable power in her own right: she had a private army and large land holding, she held a dominant position in determining Ethiopian Orthodox Church policy….She opposed Menelik’s conciliatory attitude toward the Italians who had imperial designs on Ethiopia….She led her army into battle against the Italians at Meqelle and took part in their decisive defeat at Adowa in 1895, she also led a successful campaign against Tigrean secession” (Brockman, 493).

Wikimedia Commons


“Addis Ababa.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. https://www.britannica.com/ Accessed November 27, 2019.

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

Taytu Betul, The Rise of an Itege.” African Women in History. Unesco.org https://en.unesco.org/   Accessed 8/18/2020.