Skip to main content

A Look at the Sacred Architecture of the Sassi of Matera

To mark the beginning of Holy Week, I made a video highlighting the sacred architecture of the Sassi of Matera, the 2019 European Capital of Culture and natural set for numerous films, including the next James Bond film.

The video shows the the Sassi of Matera and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches. Below is my script, which I put together as a result of my research on various websites including UNESCO. Most of the pictures were taken by me during my trips to Matera. I grabbed a few extras on Wikipedia to fill the five minute running time of the video.

According to UNESCO, the Sassi of Matera and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches is the most outstanding, intact example of a troglodyte settlement in the Mediterranean region. Located in the southern Italian region of Basilicata, The Sassi and the Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera consists of a complex of houses, churches, monasteries and hermitages built into natural caves. The area was first occupied during the Paleolithic period and shows evidence of continuous human occupation through several millennia until the present day, and is harmoniously integrated into the natural terrain and ecosystem.

Church of Santa Maria de Idris and San Giovanni in Monterrone
The Church of Santa Maria de Idris and San Giovanni in Monterrone are connected to one another, located on a rocky outcrop called Monterrone.

The Church of Santa Maria de Idris dates from the 14th and 15th centuries.

Santa Maria de Idris, connects to the Crypt of San Giovanni in Monterrone through a passage. There are delicate frescoes in the crypt which were created during the 12th - 17th centuries. (Photos are not allowed to be taken in the crypt. I downloaded the photos in the video from the UNESCO world heritage and Oltre Arte Matera, a coop dedicated to art in the city of Matera.)

The Cathedral of the Madonna della Bruna and St. Eustace (Duomo of Matera) was dedicated to the Virgin Mary under the designation of the Madonna della Bruna and to Saint Eustace.

Cathedral of the Madonna della Bruna and St. Eustace (highest point of Matera) 

The cathedral was built in the 13th century on the ridge that forms the highest point of the city of Matera.

San Pietro Caveoso
San Pietro Caveoso is also known as Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church.

It was originally built in 1300. The front is in baroque style and presents three portals. Over each portal there is a statue. They show the Madonna of Mercy, St. Peter and St. Paul.

San Pietro Caveoso is situated at the edge of a ravine with a view of the old cave dwellings.

Below is a view of the Sasso Caveoso (neighborhood) looking east. The church of the Madonna de Idris is on top of the rock in the centre.

St. Francis of Assisi was built in the thirteenth century but the famous Baroque façade was constructed in the eighteenth century.

The church underwent several changes before taking on its present-day appearance.

It is situated in a very popular part of the city- at the end of Via del Corso and the beginning of Via Ridola, the entrance to a large and busy piazza.

The ornate interior consists of a single nave with two side chapels.

Click here to watch the video on YouTube. Enjoy!


Popular posts from this blog

The Life and Work of Monica Bellucci

Monica Bellucci as Malèna Born in Umbria in 1964, Monica Bellucci is one of the most recognizable faces of international cinema. But she didn't always have her sights set on the spotlight. She went to college to study law and modeled to pay her tuition. Her success in the fashion world coupled with the offers that were pouring in to appear on the big screen eventually took over, changing her fate. Bellucci made her on-screen debut in the 1990 television movie, " Vita coi figli." Just two years later, she scored her first American role in Francis Ford Coppola's "Dracula."   In addition to her native language, she speaks fluent English and French, which has made for a smooth transition from Italian to international cinema. Stateside, she has acted in blockbusters such as "The Matrix-Reloaded,"     " The Passion of the Christ" and " The Sorcerer's Apprentice." She has also appeared in several French films, a

Mimmo Verdesca's Portrait of Alida Valli Streams One Day Only in the US

A new documentary about actress Alida Valli will be available in the United States on Sunday, March 21 through the virtual film festival, Filming Italy Los Angeles. Contemporary actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno is the voice of Alida Valli in Mimmo Verdesca's new film, “Alida” aka “Alida Valli: In Her Own Words” on the Italian icon whose influence reached far beyond Italian shores. The film consists of photos, 8mm home movies, archival video from Istituto Luce Cinecittà, Rai Teche, and Rome's film school Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia as well as scenes from her most memorable films, which include Mario Soldati's "Little Ancient World," Alfred Hitchcock's "The Paradine Case," Carol Reed's "The Third Man" alongside Orson Wells, Luchino Visconti's "Senso" and Bernardo Bertolucci's "1900." The film also features testimonies of those who knew and loved her. From her family to her closest friends to the great art

Interview: Alessandro Borghi on Suburra, Italian Cinema Across the Globe and the Ties of Friendship

Actor Alessandro Borghi is emerging as one of contemporary Italian cinema’s great talents. Battling 4-for-4 in the hit film department with a whopping five projects currently in production, Borghi was born in Rome in 1986. He began his acting career 20 years later with the television show Distretto di polizia and went on to make numerous other appearances on popular TV series, including regular roles in the recent 2013 series L’Isola followed by the 2015 series Squadra Mobile .  The same year, he transitioned to film with Claudio Caligari’s posthumous hit Non essere cattivo (Don’t Be Bad), which was also Italy’s entry for Oscar consideration that year. Caligari’s tragic story of the bond of friendship between the two main characters, Vittorio and Cesare captivated American cinephiles when it premiered at Cinema Italian Style - an annual showcase of contemporary Italian cinema in Los Angeles. With Borghi as Vittorio and Luca Marinelli as Cesare, the two team up to explore a

The Many Faces of Isabella Rossellini

Photo by Georges Biard The daughter of two cinema icons, she’s led an extraordinary life as a model, actress, voice-over artist, writer, director and now organic farmer. Isabella Rossellini was born in 1952 to Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Italian director Roberto Rossellini . She has a twin sister named after her mother and an older brother, Robertino Ingmar, whom she often joins in retrospectives celebrating their legendary parents.  When she talks about her childhood, she does so with a wistful nostalgia. She fondly recalls time spent with them while acknowledging their long absences when their demanding careers required them to travel, leaving her and her siblings at home.  In the 1996 documentary “The Hollywood Collection: Ingrid Bergman Remembered,” Rossellini describes herself as a ball of energy. Her parents often had to tell her to quiet down because they were reading or working on a film project. When they’d leave, she enjoyed having the run of the house. Sadly, her par

The Extraordinary Career and Legacy of Dino De Laurentiis

Producer Dino De Laurentiis was one of the most prolific filmmakers ever, having produced or co-produced more than 600 films during a career that spanned seven decades. His legacy continues not only through the work of his children and grandchildren but also by a new generation of filmmakers in his Italian hometown. De Laurentiis was born in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius on Aug. 8, 1919, in the city of Torre Annunziata, located just minutes from the ruins of Pompeii. As a child, he worked at a local pasta factory owned and operated by his father. That experience had a profound effect on him, shaping a lifelong passion for food and an appreciation for business. At the age of 17, he decided to leave home for the big city. He arrived in Rome and enrolled in the prestigious film school, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. After attending the school for about a year, he managed to produce one film in 1940, The Last Combat , before having to leave Rome temporarily for military d