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Early History Settlements in Bahir Dar area is reported to have been started in the sixteenth or seventeenth century with the establishment of the church of Kidana Mihret and the name of the place was also coined after that church. In the 17th century the church of St. George was established and the area was also put under church administration. In the mid-19th century, Bahir Dar was a camping site for the army of Emperor Tewodros II. Here his army suffered from cholera, forcing the Emperor to move his troops to Begemder. Despite the loss of life on the journey, by the time they reached Begemder, the army was free of the illness.During the Italian invasion, an Italian column moved from Gondar on 23 April 1937 and, after a rapid march, occupied Bahir Dar. The city was bombed by the Royal Air Force on 21-22 October 1940, and although the action made little damage it was a boost to Arbegnoch morale. After months of skirmishing with the British advance, the Italian garrison under the command of Colonel Torelli was recalled to Gondar by General Guglielmo Nasi, and began to evacuate the city on 27 April 1941. One of Emperor Haile Selassie’s palaces was located near the city, and the Emperor considered moving the national capital to the town.