Matera: City of Sassi
Matera is the City of Sassi, the urban center developed from natural caves or carved into the rock and then molded into increasingly complex systems inside two great natural amphitheaters that are Sasso Sasso Caveoso Barisano. It’s one of the most ancient cities in the world whose territory contains evidence of human habitation from the Paleolithic and without interruption up to our days. It represents an extraordinary page written by the man through over 10,000 years of history.
UNESCO World HeritageIn 1993 UNESCO declared the Sassi of Matera World Heritage Site, it is the 6th site in Italy in chronological order, the first in the South.
In October 14, 2014 Matera was designated European Capital of Culture 2019.
The unique architecture of the Sassi tells the human capacity to adapt perfectly to the environment and the natural environment, using masterfully simple features like the constant temperature of the excavated areas, the limestone bedrock of the same for the construction of housing above ground and the use of the slopes for the control of water and meteorological phenomena.
The architectural structure consists of two systems, one visible immediate attention created from successive layers of houses, courts, ballotoi, palaces, churches, gardens streets and gardens, and the inner, invisible at first sight consists of tanks, neviere, tunnels and caves water control systems, systems that are essential for life and the wealth of the community.
The parkThe Sassi of Matera are located on a slope of a canyon carved over time by the Gravina torrent. On the other side extends the Natural Archaeological Park of the Rock Churches of Matera or Matera’s Murgia Park, whose landscape is the original level of the places later developed only on the opposite side of the Sassi.
The park preserves the most ancient settlements in the territory. These include the Cave of Bats whose Paleolithic finds are kept at the National Museum Ridola in Matera, the Neolithic villages of Murgecchia, Murgia Timone and Trasanello.