World Heritage Photos

Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera

The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The Sassi di Matera are ancient cave dwellings in the city of Matera. The Sassi di Matera are located in the deep south of Italy. From the Neolithic Age until 1968 human activity had been taking place in Matera. The Sassi di Matera are prehistoric cave dwellings. The Sassi are houses dug into the rock itself, the houses are really only caverns. The ancient town grew on one slope of a ravine, the Gravina. Also several churches were carved out of the rock. The Church of Madonna de Idris towers high above the Sassi di Matera. The Church of Madonna de Idris was carved out of the rock in 1230. In the 1950s the Government of Italy ordered the evacuation of the residents, but people lived in poor hygienic circumstances in the Sassi di Matera until 1968. The Sassi di Matera are located about 65 km from UNESCO World Heritage Castel del Monte and 68 km from UNESCO World Heritage Trulli of Alberobello. The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera were declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1993.

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Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The Sassi di Matera are ancient cave dwellings. Human activity has been taking...

The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The Sassi di Matera are ancient cave dwellings. Human activity has been taking place in Matera from the Neolithic Age until 1968. The Sassi are houses dug into the rock itself, most of the houses are really only caverns. The ancient town of Matera grew on one slope of a ravine, called the Gravina.

  1. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The Sassi di Matera are ancient cave dwellings. Human activity has been taking...

    The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The Sassi di Matera are ancient cave dwellings. Human activity has been taking place in Matera from the Neolithic Age until 1968. The Sassi are houses dug into the rock itself, most of the houses are really only caverns. The ancient town of Matera grew on one slope of a ravine, called the Gravina.

  2. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: A kitchen with classic brick-cooking. The kitchen is situated in the cave...

    The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: A kitchen with classic brick-cooking. The kitchen is situated in the cave house of Vittorio Solitario. In 1952, the Italian Government ordered the evacuation of the residents of the Sassi, but until 1968, about 15,000 people lived in poor hygienic circumstances in the Sassi di Matera.

  3. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The cave house of Vittorio Solitario was inhabited until 1956. Many of the...

    The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The cave house of Vittorio Solitario was inhabited until 1956. Many of the cave houses are really little more than caverns, but other cave houses have proper walls, ceilings and floors, hewn from the rock. The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera is an UNESCO World Heritage.

  4. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The bedroom in a cave house. The furniture of a cave house consisted...

    The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The bedroom in a cave house. The furniture of a cave house consisted mainly of a matrimonial bed. The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera are one of the best surviving and most complete examples of prehistoric cave dwellings in the Mediterranean region.

  5. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The cave house of Vittorio Solitario. In the Sassi di Matera, farm animals,...

    The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The cave house of Vittorio Solitario. In the Sassi di Matera, farm animals, as well as domestic pets, often lived in the same cave room as the humans. Until the 20th century, the cave houses had no access to running water or electricity, there was no sewage system. Infectious diseases were a major threat.

  6. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: A small alley in the Sassi, behind the façades are simple caves. In some...

    The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: A small alley in the Sassi, behind the façades are simple caves. In some parts of the Sassi, a street is situated on top of the roof of the cave dwellings below. This area was already inhabited in prehistoric times. Nowadays, the Sassi di Matera is an UNESCO World Heritage.

  7. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The St. John of Monterrone, the San Giovanni in Monterrone, is a small church carved...

    The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The St. John of Monterrone, the San Giovanni in Monterrone, is a small church carved out of the rock. The tiny rock church is decorated with frescoes, the baptismal font cut out of one solid block of stone. A tunnel through the rock connects the church with the Church of Madonna de Idris.

  8. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The ancient cave dwellings are situated in the lower part of...

    The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The ancient cave dwellings are situated in the lower part of Matera, they are composed of the Sasso Caveoso and the newer part, the Sasso Barisano. The ancient town grew in height on the slope of the Gravina, a ravine created by the Gravina River, nowadays a small stream.

  9. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The entrance to one of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera. Although it was one of the...

    The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The entrance to one of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera. Although it was one of the poorest regions in Italy, there are more than 150 rock churches situated in the Sassi di Matera. Only a few churches are open to visitors.

  10. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The Church of Madonna de Idris towers high above the Sassi. The church is...

    The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The Church of Madonna de Idris towers high above the Sassi. The church is situated at the top of the Monterrone, a limestone rock. It is the most prominent church in the Sassi di Matera. A tunnel through the rock connects the church with the crypt of the St. John of Monterrone.

  11. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The entrance to the Church of Santa Maria di Idris. The rock church is also...

    The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The entrance to the Church of Santa Maria di Idris. The rock church is also known as Madonna de Idris. The church was carved out of the rock in 1230. Most of the churches of the Sassi were dug out of the rock by monks fleeing the persecutions in the Byzantine Empire

  12. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The High Altar in the Church of Madonna de Idris. The Church of Madonna de Idris...

    The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: The High Altar in the Church of Madonna de Idris. The Church of Madonna de Idris is richly adorned with frescoes, the frescoes depict Biblical scenes and characters, such as John the Baptist and Michael the Archangel. The fresco above the altar depict the Virgin and Child.

  13. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: One of the 17th century frescoes inside the Church of Madonna de Idris. The rock...

    The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: One of the 17th century frescoes inside the Church of Madonna de Idris. The rock church houses several frescoes, dating from the 12th to the 17th centuries. There are more than 150 rock churches situated in the Sassi di Matera, most of them are small, just a few square metres in size.

  14. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi di Matera along the Gravina, a small canyon, is one of the oldest settlements in the world. The Sassi di...

    The Sassi di Matera along the Gravina, a small canyon, is one of the oldest settlements in the world. The Sassi di Matera are situated in the deep south of Italy. Today, the Sassi is a famous tourist attraction. The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1993.

  15. Sassi di Matera and Churches of Matera - The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: These cave dwellings are among the first settlements in Italy, dating back to...

    The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera: These cave dwellings are among the first settlements in Italy, dating back to the Old Stone Age. The Sassi di Matera has been used as the setting for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. The Sassi and the park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera became an UNESCO World Heritage in 1993.