The total land coverage of the grand palace is 40 acres and it contains myriads of historical buildings and plants that date back to the time of emperor Menelik II, the founder of the Grand Palace.
The Banquet Hall or commonly called ‘Gibir adarash’, was built during the reign of Emperor Menelik II. When it was constructed, it had a capacity to entertain almost 8000 guests at a time. Emperor Menelik used to organize feasts three times a week, not to mention the plentiful carousals during festive days. In 1963 following the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), Emperor Haile Selassie had organized a feast for the founding fathers of OAU in this same Hall. In 2019 Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, had arranged a 5-million-birr dinner as part of raising money for the project ‘Beautification of Addis Ababa’.
The “Throne Hall” or “Throne House” as it is also known is where Ethiopia’s monarchs would meet with the provincial lords of aristocratic backgrounds and royal lineage to discuss local issues and make important decisions on subjects such as land tax. On special occasions, the space was also used to welcome nobles and foreign dignitaries. Queen Elizabeth II of British, Charles De Gul of France and Joseph Broz Tito of Yugoslavia were only few of the distinguished world leaders to be received in this Hall during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie.During the Dergue regime the Throne House served as a meeting hall for the Dergue Central Committee in which numerous matters were deliberated, including the famous rural land expropriation proclamation and the decision to kill high officials of Emperor Haile Selassie. The Throne Hall is highly decorated with precious stuccos covering the walls and ceiling. It takes its name from the large, golden throne displayed in the center. There are plinths featuring the Star of David, the symbol of the Solomonic Dynasty, at the base of the columns supporting the canopy holding the crown. At the top, statues of angels extend their arms, expressing praise.Currently, the “Throne Hall” houses the main exhibition of Unity Park museum. The exhibition celebrates the history and culture of Ethiopia, a nation shaped by its ethnic and religious identities and its politics. It traces Ethiopia’s evolution through legends, cultural beliefs, various governments, and historical events- some of which took place here in Menelik palace.