Kibran Gabriel was founded in 1321 by saint abune Ze Yohannes who was one of the seven spiritual sons of Saint Abune Tekle Haymanot and it was rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Iyasu /1682-1706/. According to the historical source of the monastery, the founder had brought the tabot dedicated to Archangel Gabriel from Jerusalem. The monastery is one of the closest monasteries to Bahir Dar located at 9km from the city. It is about half of an hour cruise by motorboat from the city. Before the arrival of Ze Yohannes, the local people were worshiping python, which was killed by the saint after two weeks prayer by the cross you can see displayed in the museum of the monastery today.
Many kings of Ethiopian medieval period had made the church rich with plenty of gifts and provision of land and restoration. This monastery is one of richest monasteries in the Lake Tana with collections of priceless treasures. The treasures are well kept and displayed for visitors in a good museum. The heritages include the book of Synod, paintings of prophets, crowns of different kings, the Cross that belongs to Abune Yohannes (the founder of the monastery) and “Metsihafe Hawi”. Particularly Metsihafe Hawi is very worthy religious book of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church which contains the translations of the Bible (Old and New Testament) and other relevant books of the church. The book was written in Jerusalem by the scholar known as St. Antiako and introduced into the monastery in 1555 by king Sertse-Dingil, one of the famous medieval kings of Ethiopia.
The church is located at charming site overlooking the Lake and it is entirely made form limestone and red stones cut regularly. Its roof was thatched roof before it was replaced by the present metal roof. Because of religious reasons, this monastery is not indulged for ladies to enter.