July 23, 2014

Abuna Yemata Guh, Ethiopia

Photograph by Christopher Roche

A priest rests on a ledge near the church of Abuna Yemata Guh, located in a hidden Ethiopian cave atop a 660-foot cliff. Carved out of the mountain, the church allows priests to reside closer to the heavens and away from the worries of the land below.

"With my camera bag on my back I sweated my way up the cliff to find the priest proud in his Sunday best, standing on a ledge only two meters wide," writes Christopher Roche, who submitted this photo to the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. "The magic of the location and moment enabled us to grow comfortable with each other very quickly, and I took several photographs before battling with my vertigo on the way back down."

See more stirring portraits from the Traveler Photo Contest >>

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