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Cripta del Peccato Originale

Contrada Pietrapenta SNC | Basilicta, 75100, Matera, Italy
+39 320 334 5323
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One thousand year old cave paintings

This site is reached by a rocky sloping trail and you must go with a guide to visit the cave... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Mmarymomm
,
Pleasanton, California
Worth the visit

We did not have reservations. They were very accommodating and we got in on the last tour. The... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Jim P
,
Moscow, Idaho, United States
Read all 794 reviews
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The Crypt of the Original Sin, in Matera, is located inside a natural cave on the Murgia plateau, near the old Appian Way. Commonly known as “the Sistine Chapel of rupestrian art”, the Crypt was discovered in 1963 by a group of local youths, who noticed the splendid frescoes in what at the time, had become a shelter for sheep herds.Experts later dated the cycle of paintings back to the second half of the 8th century, with Late-Romanesque style and formal elements of Oriental inspiration, such as the Byzantine-style Triarchsand the profile of the Virgin Mary, majestically represented in the sumptuous clothes of the Byzantine empress, the Basilissa.The anonymous, humble artist – who was soon nicknamed the “Flower Painter” – depicted biblical figures in total freedom: God the Creator, Light and Darkness, Adam and Eve, the three Apostles John, Peter and Andrew, the Archangels and Mary. The paintings on the rough walls of the cave are different and unique in Matera’s iconographic context. The scenes are the fruit of the painter’s personal creativity and certainly speak of his freedom in translating complex depictions, and of a lively spontaneity in drawing images. The Crypt of Original Sin may only be visited by booking.
  • Excellent81%
  • Very good14%
  • Average2%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible2%
Travellers talk about
“original sin” (10 reviews)
“gas station” (6 reviews)
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
LOCATION
Contrada Pietrapenta SNC | Basilicta, 75100, Matera, Italy
CONTACT
Website
+39 320 334 5323
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"original sin"
in 10 reviews
"gas station"
in 6 reviews
"sistine chapel"
in 5 reviews
"open countryside"
in 3 reviews
"uneven ground"
in 3 reviews
"new testament"
in 3 reviews
"audio guide"
in 6 reviews
"great history lesson"
in 2 reviews
"few kilometers"
in 2 reviews
"bible story"
in 2 reviews
"reservations are required"
in 2 reviews
"art enthusiast"
in 2 reviews
"state road"
in 2 reviews
"cave site"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the trip"
in 4 reviews
"historical information"
in 2 reviews
"pre booking"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 72 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

This site is reached by a rocky sloping trail and you must go with a guide to visit the cave. Tickets need to be purchased online for a specific date.There is parking for cars and it is about a half hour outside of Matera. There...More

Thank Mmarymomm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

We did not have reservations. They were very accommodating and we got in on the last tour. The lady who was at the place did not speak English and I do not speak good Italian, but she was able to get us tickets. The tour...More

Thank Jim P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2018

Pre-booking is required. The cost is 8 euro to visit Cripta del Peccato Originale This little chapel carved into stone has been described as the Sistine Chapel of the south. Just a few kilometers from Matera, in one of the ravines that run through the...More

1  Thank Titus D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 December 2017

Just 15/20 minutes from the center of Matera, it's easy to arrive by car and it's a wonderful experience to complete the caves and churches of the city. The explanation is clear and understable, and the atmosphere it's great. Nice pasta and other products to...More

Thank Óscar M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2017

The crypt is set in open countryside and the quality of the frescoes is remarkable, especially when you know that animals were kept in there centuries ago. Visitors sit in darkness while special lighting and recorded information is played.

1  Thank adevoti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2017

The "Crypt" was unquestionably one of the most memorable events of our time in Matera. The 9th century mosaics are astoundingly evocative and beautiful. It was astounding that the frescoes predated the excessively praised Giotto be several hundred years. It was just unfortunate that the...More

1  Thank ThakurSahibMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2017 via mobile

Took a small tour- it’s the only way to see this location - tickets are not sold at the site. Takes about 1/2 hour to get there. Maybe 15 mins in the cave. You are not allowed to take photos - just plan to be...More

1  Thank Mary T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2017

Cripta Del Peccato is worth the time and effort it will take you to get there. Don't go without a reservation, you might be turned away if the tours are full. Book your tour ahead online, (it's easy). These fresco 's are early and beautiful....More

1  Thank Alec D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2017

Visiting the Crypt of Original Sin was profoundly touching and humbling. The frescoes are beautiful and truly unlike any others. Unlike some other unprotected caves and frescoes, this experience is controlled to protect the site. You need to buy your tickets ahead of time on...More

1  Thank Christopher T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2017 via mobile

Went out to the crypt to drop in and was refused a ticket as they were booked solid for the day. Given that we had checked out and driving further south hanging around for two days was not an option. The drive in was somewhat...More

1  Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Andrea L
5 November 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from rlrobles5 | Reviewed this property |
as best I can tell, either a very long hike or a taxi. It is moderately far from public roads.
0
Votes
CorinnaBsWorld
29 August 2016|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from IndianaGeologist |
you have a couple options, you can leave your car at the gas station, or follow them in your own vehicle to the site, which is what we did. the site is out in the country and is completely safe.
2
Votes
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