Shuttle Matera

by Made in South of Italy

The origins of the Sassi of Matera

The Sassi of Matera are part of the UNESCO heritage since 1993. The origins of the first human settlements in the old Matera (today called the Sassi) date back to prehistory. During this period nomadic people found a refuge in caves that had become real dwellings. Over the centuries the city of Sassi was conquered by the Lombards, the Saracens and later by the Normans and the Swabians. The Sassi are one of the examples of a fortified barycentric acropolis.

Only in the period dating back to the Early Middle Ages we begin to outline what will then be the urban layout of the Sassi districts. The occupation of the caves and the subsequent fortification of the "Civita", in fact, follows the construction of both the invaders and the houses currently open to visitors.

The architecture of Sassi

Walking through the Rioni Sassi you notice that the various houses do not have a pre-established architecture. Each house, in fact, is placed on a level different from the other. However, it can be noted that the districts are divided into housing units located according to the natural morphology of the site.

These housing units consisted of a common area called Neighborhood that connected the various houses with the church. The Rioni Sassi in fact have hundreds of small rock churches.

The various dwellings were obtained in the rock formed by calcareous and porous material and easily modeled. The various infiltrations of water inside the rock allowed their inhabitants drinking water in the house collected and decanted naturally in natural tanks and a constant temperature inside the cave.

In memory of a history of oppression, the Tramontano Castle is visible from most of the city. This castle, built was built by the will of the homonymous Count became feudal in 1498. The Count was killed in the first half of 1500 by a revolt of the people of Matera and continued oppression. Said Castle has always been unfinished.

With the advent of the Catholic Critian Religion some of the dwellings or caves were used as churches. To date several of these Churches have been deconsecrated and attached to housing. Many others, however, still retain their original appearance. The latter are used as museums or for the celebration of religious services.

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The story of Sassi di Matera

The birth of the Sassi di Matera from the Paleolithic to the present day. A city rich in history and continuously inhabited up to the present day. Matera and UNESCO


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Sassi di Matera

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Life in the Sassi of Matera through the blanket of local crafts, typical dishes and rock churches

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