Bahir Dar is the capital of the Amhara Region in Ethiopia and former capital of West Gojjam. Administratively, Bahir Dar is a Special Zone. Bahir Dar is one of the leading tourist destinations in Ethiopia, with a variety of attractions in the nearby Lake Tana and Blue Nile river. The city is known for its wide avenues lined with palm trees and a variety of colorful flowers. In 2002 it was awarded the UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize for addressing the challenges of rapid urbanization.