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“A place of early Christian worship”

Ranked #12 of 116 things to do in Matera
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: According to the World Heritage site, "Matera's Sassi are the best surviving and most complete examples of rock-cut settlement in the Mediterranean region. They have been developed in close harmony with the natural environments."
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“A place of early Christian worship”
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Four small churches abutting each other and all carved out of the rock towering over the gorge. Much of the work was undertaken by Christian refugees from the Cappadocia region of Turkey and the remaining parts of the frescoes painted on the walls are testimony to their Byzantine heritage.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank AidenAbet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Genoa, Italy
Level 6 Contributor
668 reviews
355 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,266 helpful votes
“Go Prepared!”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

The Park of the Rupestrian Churches is a top attraction for hikers and good walkers, but it really pays to go prepared and take the walk in this area seriously. One could spend several days hiking the area so it really pays to consult a guide or one of the official city tour offices before you set out to understand what you might like to see and how difficult a hike you would like to take. It's a vast park with many trails and although they are marked; its not that easy to follow them. A guide is recommended. Be aware that with the recent heavy rains the two small bridges have been washed away making it a bit tricky getting to the other side and to get around in the most easiest accessed area, along Via Madonna delle Virtu. With that said; its an amazing experience but be sure to wear good hiking boots, bring water, snack and sunscreen if you plan to stay out for awhile. A walking stick would be helpful as some of the declines are steep along with the "steps" but you won't find any in the park so come prepared!. If you can find a copy of "Matera-Itinerari nei Sassi e nel Parco della Murgia Materana it lays out several tours to take both in the city and the park-its very helpful, but hard to find.

Many of the frescoes have been badly damaged by graffiti-if you are reading this you probably aren't someone who defaces art, but its really sad to see what has happened in this lovely park. Try to encourage others not to touch what's left.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank AnnArborMHT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterloo, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fantastic...”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

A wonderful place to visit for amazing views of Matera. A hike or a short drive from Matera Sassi but certainly something to put on the 'to do' list during any visit.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buckinghamshire
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Unforgettable landscape”
Reviewed 23 February 2014

The National Park is a rocky landscape rising steeply above the river Gravina and is dotted with caves. In the two Sassi areas cave churches, often with frescoed interiors, are a stark reminder of the shelter they provided to monks escaping persecution centuries ago and of the religious devotion of the cave dwellers.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank adevoti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Naples, Campania, Italy
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“History in Caves”
Reviewed 17 February 2014

We went to see these while walking through the Sassi and loved them. A different type of church than ones from the bigger cities.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank gtakach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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