Matera is a small town in 150 km from Brindisi in Basilicata region. Matera is listed in the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1993. It's became worldwide famouse because of old house-caves carved directly into the rocks. These rock structures are called the Sassi (Stones). The oldest of them is about 7000 years old. In a new caves, there are churches some of them were buit in the sixth century AD. There are very old frescos in some churches that are painted in XI-XII centuries Ad. A lot of famous movies were filmed there, and one of them a very famous Mel Gibson's movie "Passion of the Christ".
There are 1950 house-caves that were people's homes at that time. You will not believe it, but around 15,000 people had lived there. It was almost a half of the population of the city! They had no sewerage, and rain water was collected in a big stone tank to supply their needs.
Now, there are two parts in Matera: modern upper town and historical down town which is called Sassi. Going down to the old city, it seems like you are going to a different world. Beautiful view of the low town:
This is a view of the most ancient rock caves in the down town. They abandoned long time ago.
This how the house-caves look.
This house is a museum. House partially is in the rock, partially built outside it. 11 person family had lived in this small space: two adults and 9 children, with all home scarp. Animals had lived in the same room in the corner.
Probably, you are wondering... where did they all sleep? Adults with one or two smallest kids slept in a bed.
At night, the bottom drawer dresser and food storage chests were turned into beds.
This is a bed for a little baby.
And this is a model of Matera
Story by Katrin (Katrinshine)
Translated by Irina (IrinaPhotography)