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"stones of Matera"

Photo Information
Copyright: Tsilla Nahari (tnahari) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1381 W: 259 N: 4365] (26007)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-05-17
Categories: Daily Life, Architecture, HPP [Heavily Post-Processed]
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): special effects [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-05-31 1:36
Viewed: 2222
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Sassi di Matera (meaning "stones of Matera") are prehistoric cave dwellings in the Italian city of Matera, Basilicata. Situated in the old town, they are composed of the Sasso Caveoso and the later Sasso Barisano.

Matera: a city unlike any other in the world, carved out of white tuff and the blinding Mediterranean sun...
The Matera of the "Sassi" is a city carved out of the rock, formed by one of the most suggestive city environments in the world, classified by UNESCO as a legacy of humanity to be passed on to future generations

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.

Nature has provided this location with a belt of soft tufa, with two natural depressions. The caves here have been used since prehistoric times. Population pressure drove people out of the city of Matera, into these Sassi. From the 17th century on, this area was left to the poor. At first they lived in the bare caves, later these developed into house-like structures.

The Sassi were evacuated by law in 1952. 15.000 people, living in extremely poor hygienic circumstances, had to be resettled to new quarters


The Sassi in Matera are one of the most outstanding examples of troglodyte settlements in the Mediterranean region. Constructed by primitive men, this settlement is still intact and has adapted perfectly to the ecosystem and terrain of the area, which was first inhabited in palaeolithic times. The later settlements in the region are like taking a walk through the important stages of human history, because of which the area was named to UNESCO's World Heritage Site List in 1993.


Today nearly 50% of the Sassi buildings have been renovated and are now occupied. You can still wander the streets of the remaining abandoned area and see just how horrible the living conditions must have been.
A couple of the old cave houses have been outfitted and furnished to look as they did in the 1950s and are open to visitors.

One of the benefits of the ancient city, is that there is a great similarity in the look of the Sassi with that of ancient sites in and around Jerusalem. This has caught the eye of film directors and movie studios. Principally due to this reason the Sassi were the set of many films, as for example "The Gospel According to St. Matthew" (Pasolini, 1964), "King David" (Bruce Beresford, 1985), "The Passion of the Christ" (Gibson, 2004) and "The Nativity Story" (Hardwicke, 2006).

Tanjicka, fransx, szatanowska, mushtaqhussain has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Tsilla,

This is a very good photography of this old town.
Very good chosen high point of view.
Excellent light and I like the added antique effect.
In my opinion this photography will looks better with sepia tones and antique effect.
But still nice photography.

Warm greetings and best wishes,

  • Great 
  • fransx Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2938 W: 134 N: 7397] (41704)
  • [2010-05-31 3:52]

HI Tsilla,
What a nice panorama of this old city of Matera in this old 35mm slide format composition.
Great DOF from such a high POV.
Well detailed parts of the city with the dominating church at the BG, as most of the Italian cities.
Very natural colors.
My best regards,

Francis Xavier

Hi Tsilla,

You left no stone unturned in capturing the minute details from this historical Italian city and a well chosen negative-like look to the picture also enhances the beauty of shot immensely.

You captured the mood perfectly in this sophisticated work, where sharpness and POv are very well done. The light is very well controlled and a well balanced exposure also increase the charm of this city enormously.
Well done!

Thanks and regards,

Hi Tsilla,
this post is beautiful and interesting.
I love your POV, so many details to see.
I also like the PP-work - it realy looks like an old shot - also amazing that we can't see any things showing modern way of life.
Very well done, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hi Tsilla ,
A beautiful shot and the treatment really gives an impact of truly old photo,nice POV from a good height to show a good details,nice warm tones and beautiful framing.

Have a nice Monday

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1977 W: 301 N: 3060] (26902)
  • [2010-06-06 13:40]

Hello Tsilla! That's a fine shot of that old city in Basilicata a region I've never visit. Nice pov and a great pp work to give that antique patine. Very well done, thanks!


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