Cripta del Peccato Originale

Cripta del Peccato Originale

Cripta del Peccato Originale
4.5
Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins
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About
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.
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< 1 hour
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4.5
1,118 reviews
Excellent
864
Very good
177
Average
38
Poor
14
Terrible
25

Melody F
4 contributions
Oct 2021
What a unique experience! We were able to enjoy amazing religious art from the 8th century on the walls of this natural cave. It was well worth the lovely, sometimes bumpy drive, about 15-20 minutes from our place in Matera. There are a few things that are helpful to know. The last few miles of road are sometimes dirt and sometimes just not well maintained. The concession is part of the Cooperativa Synchronos. Visitors gather at the main building for the cooperative before all going down together to the parking for the crypt. People with mobility disabilities might have a great deal of difficulty. There are steep stairs leading down to the entrance to the cave and getting up from the seating might be challenging. Once in the cave, there is an interesting and informative presentation giving the history of the crypt and interpretation and context to the art. The experience was worth any inconvenience we initially felt.
Written February 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fundognw
Siena, Italy298 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
The paintings are very special and unlike anything I’ve seen before. When you book online, note that you are to arrive 30 minutes before the tour starts. If you put the place in your GPS it might want to take you all the way to the cave. Don’t drive to the cave. Stop at the biglietteria, which is in an agriturismo. There might be a sign at the desk with no-one there because the guy is doing the tour for the prior group. When it’s time they’ll check you in and you’ll caravan on to the cave down a narrow dirt road. You’ll sit on bumpy rocks inside the cave and different parts of the paintings will be illuminated while there’s an audio explanation. On our day the English audio was malfunctioning, and the day before we were offered a refund and cancellation because of this. We decided to go anyway. Husband’s audio in English worked but mine didn’t. The guy was very helpful and sweet and apologetic about the audio. He spoke English and offered a recap at the end but we declined as we had lunch plans. We were very glad we made the effort to see this.
Written November 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AMsays
Thornhill, Canada3,744 contributions
Jul 2022
On the morning of my 9 am tour, Expedia did not transmit my confirmed reservation to the actual tour operator, Martulli Viaggi so they left without me. Conveniently, they set me up with another tour of the Crypt of Original Sin for 10:30. I could have reserved also and done it independently but thought booking with Expedia would be better. Not so. Check in was at a winery where you're given an audio guide that was very helpful. Then you're driven to the actual location. Such a magnificent place, full of history, spiritual significance - truly a treasure. The frescoes were amazing and the explanations tied everything togather. I am so glad I didn't miss it...
Written August 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Aussies_Travelling
Melbourne, Australia31 contributions
Jan 2022
The frescoes are a true treasure of Italian history, unique for their subject matter and age.

If you have made your booking, and do not get there 30 minutes before hand, then wander quickly down the track and you will more than likely catch the group, as we did.

Highly recommended, which is saying something for a site so close to Matera and its cave churches.
Written March 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Luis Enrique C
Brasilia, DF52 contributions
Oct 2019
An awesome experience. The crypt, speechless, very charming. Excellent example of rock Church. I think it is one of the most important given the Byzantine-inspired frescoes depicting a Madonna in a door-shaped gown representing for us men the entry and exit of this world.
Written June 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KathrynE
Los Angeles, CA766 contributions
Mar 2022 • Couples
Really beautiful rock/cave church outside of Matera. You can reserve tickets online ahead of time. Check in is at a winery and then you walk or drive down to the church. Audio guide in English explains things very well. Photos are not allowed inside.
Written June 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

StudentessaMatta
San Francisco, CA69 contributions
Sep 2013 • Business
In 2013 I began my visit to Matera with a stop outside the city to visit the "Crypt of the Original Sin". 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 plateau of the Murgia, is one of the most evocative places you can find the Crypt. Inside a small hollowed section of the limestone cliff, you will see art work painted by the skillful hand of the "Painter of Flowers of Matera" who has narrated scenes from the Old and New Testament in a cycle of frescoes dating back to the ninth century. A.D. The crypt was discovered in May 1963, and after an exemplary restoration, organized by the Foundation Zètema of Matera and assisted by the 'Institute for Conservation and Restoration, the crypt has been restored so that we can now enjoy the incredible frescos found the cave. Highly recommended by Melissa Muldoon, la studentessa matta
Written July 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hoyin
HK20 contributions
Just to share our recent experience so fellow travellers can form a more realistic expectation on the crypt.  The crypt has no formal address and the only way to drive there is to meet its rep at a gas station 8km away from Matera you follow him to drive there, through the country road.  The road leading to the crypt was very rugged and not paved, so almost certainly you would scratch your car.  After 5-10 minutes you arrive at a single cave the size of a hotel room, with some frescoes not so well maintained nor really impressive.  The room is all dark, and you sit there to listen to 30 minutes recordings describing the frescoes.  There are frescoes on 2 sides. You can only look at frescoes when spotlights are shed. Then you drive back and leave.  Considering the time and difficulty to drive there and the cost, compared to what we see, I think a sensible traveller may wish to think twice.
Written October 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

italiasumisura
Gilze, The Netherlands6 contributions
Mar 2011 • Friends
Out of the ordinary trip. you have to book in advance and meet just a couple of miles out of Matera at a gasstation (which serves excellent coffee!). Guide leads the way and takes you to a private cave you would never have found on your own.
Written February 7, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Whatbob
Glasgow, UK429 contributions
Mar 2015 • Couples
Booked an English tour some weeks before. Email from them that they had booked a large Italian group so the tour would now be in Italian so could we choose another time - English language options given. We re-booked but the tour was with an all Italian speaking group and was all in Italian. They gave us a written guide in English which was unreadable in the dim light. I'm sure the commentary and music are all very nice if it was at all possible to understand them. he cave (a single cave) and paintings are a lovely sight to see but if English is booked they need to deliver what is offered. They did fully refund and were very polite about the failing. We did feel we had wasted a chunk of our limited time in Matera because of the language mess up. It involves driving 10Km from Matera to a (garage and then a few Km convoy to the site. Tour is about 1 hour. 9 Euro is a good price (if you get what you pay for) but it is a time consuming activity and limited numbers mean booking ahead is a very good idea.
Written April 3, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Cripta del Peccato Originale, Matera

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