The most impressive carved cities of the world

Posted by on May 15, 2014

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Nature, the winds, the rugged terrain, persecution, poverty are just some of the reasons that led people for centuries to transform caves into a home carved into rocks. From the lunar landscape of Cappadocia and the romantic Matera to the magical Santorini, we present to you the most charming places in the world where the cave houses create the most breathtaking sceneries.

Cappadocia, Turkey

In this unreal landscape with the amazing geological formations and strange shaped rocks, like mushrooms, stand countless cave churches carved into the soft sandstone. Ruined monasteries, carved crosses in bizarre rocks, underground cities, labyrinthine caves and labyrinths compose the dreamy backdrop to this vast plateau in the depths of Turkey. In these famous cave homes inhabited people from the Neolithic era, to be then, from the 4th century, the refuge for thousands of fugitive Christians, who lived in them, creating the first Christian monastery communities. The village Goreme is where the most important Byzantine cave churches of Cappadocia are located and they are declared a UNESCO World Heritage site by UNESCO and the Urgup.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia

Matera, Italy

The Cappadocia of Europe became the favorite city of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Francis Ford Coppola. The first used the setting in his films, while for the second was the birthplace of his grandfather. The Matera looks like it’s handmade. A ghost town in the province, the Basilica, was discovered by hippies, artists and it is under the protection of UNESCO since 1993. Away from the tourist trails, isolated between two rocks formed at depth, which has been sculpted by the torrent Gravina. The boundaries between houses are not visible. Tightly hugged, tangled with one another. Many times the roof is a walkway or someones patio. The best view is from the Parco della Murgia Materana the two districts of Sassi.

Matera, Italy

Matera, Italy

Santorini, Greece

Without a doubt here are the most famous and most photographed carved city in the world. It is domed, digged in the rocks without foundations, with narrow frontage and depth. The most famous part of the island is Oia, plus many of the caves which housed the poorest locals have been converted into luxurious accommodations and are highly atmospheric.

Santorini

Santorini

Granada, Spain

To discover the most unique and authentic face of Andalusian city you should ascend Sacromonte district, the sacred mountain that is north of the Albaicin. This is a nice neighborhood with gypsies who live in cave homes, the majority of which is located in Camino del Sacromonte. The gypsies have retained all the customs of their tribe and have traditionally decorate the cave houses with old photographs and utensils. Today, these caves attract countless tourists who watch the dance show of gitanos with castanets and guitars, known as zambra. These shows have nothing to do with the performances given for tourists to the shops in town. Other caves have been converted into restaurants, bars and even tourist accommodations. A few miles northeast of Granada is the city of Guadix also famous for its cave houses. Residents continue to build even today cave houses as hotels or summer houses.

Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

Kandovan, Iran

The tiny village of 600 inhabitants is located in the isolated northwest corner of the country near the border with Azerbaijan and is famous for its architecture. The name of the local dialect means bees in the nest and for a good reason: its inhabitants still live in stone houses carved conical, formed from volcanic ash, making the landscape look like a giant termite colony. Today, many of these buildings have been expanded and include porches, windows, doors and stairs carved into the rocks.

Kandovan

Kandovan

View more here: Beautiful cities with canals, Take a walk through the big cities.

By Nicole P.

Carved cities photos: dj081975, craigwoody, TOTORORO.RORO, Simon Cast, Txaro Franco.

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