Deserted Walled Medieval Town of Craco, Italy
The deserted walled medieval town of Craco had a village located on its site as far back as the 500s AD. Over time, however, it was plagued by, well, plagues … as well as agricultural droughts, rogue banditry and finally insurmountable seismic activity which threatened to bring the whole town down. In the 1960s the last of the residents were evacuated for fear of an earthquake that could level the entire site and the town has since sat entirely abandoned high up on a 400-foot cliff.
Paseando por las solitarias calles de este lugar, se pueden escuchar los ecos de miles de niños que corretearon por sus empinadas cuestas. Imaginar los pasos apresurados de las viejas que, al son de las campanas de la iglesia parroquial de San Nicola, acuden presurosas a la misa de doce.
Sin prisa y con el silbido de la brisa que siempre sopla en el valle de Cavone como único compañero, las destartaladas fachadas de palacios como el palazzo Grossi, el Madonna, el Carbone o el Simonetti van guiando el rumbo del caminante hacia las ruinas del viejo castillo. Fortaleza que durante muchísimos siglos acogió a las familias más poderosas del sur de Italia.
Craco is located in the Region of Basilicata and the Province of Matera. About 25 miles inland from the Gulf of Taranto at the instep of the “boot” of Italy. This medieval town is typical of those in the area, built up with long undulating hills all around that allow for the farming of wheat and other crops. Craco can be dated back to 1060 when the land was in the ownership of Archbishop Arnaldo, Bishop of Tricarico. This long-standing relationshop with the Church had much influence over the inhabitants throughout the ages.
From the hustle and bustle and the chaos to the silence and most absolute desolation: Once upon a time, cities that are now completely deserted use to be immersed in the everyday din of noisy life. A continuous flow of people and cars and the roar of civilization were witnesses of their essence till the day everything stopped. They were completely abandoned, left empty and silent.
Craco is a comune and medieval village located in the Region of Basilicata and the Province of Matera in Italy. About 25 miles inland from the Gulf of Taranto at the instep of the “boot” of Italy. The medieval village of Craco is typical of the hill towns of the region with mildly undulating shapes and the lands surrounding it sown with wheat.
Craco was built on a very steep summit, for defensive reasons, giving it a stark and striking appearance and distinguishing it from the surrounding lands which are characterized by soft shapes. The center, built on the highest side of the town, facing a ridge runs steeply to the southwest where newer buildings exist. The town sits atop a 400 meter high cliff that overlooks the Cavone River valley. Throughout the area are many unique vegetation-less mounds formed by intensive erosion that are called «calanchi.»