The incredible architecture of Troglodyte dwellings

The word ‘troglodyte’ is Greek for cave dweller.  If you imagined that cave dwellings were only prevalent during Neanderthal times, you would be  surprised to know that there are entire underground villages, built into soft volcanic rock in Cappadocia, Turkey and Matmata, Tunisia.  Extending seven to eight levels below the earth, these subterranean structures were built as refuges from marauding invaders, eventually evolving into villages and towns.  A unique feature of troglodyte homes is that they are cool during summers and warm during winters, making them the perfect desert dwellings.

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Entrances to troglodyte homes in Matmata, Tunisia


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Homes carved into rock at Matmata, Tunisia


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The ancient city of Petra in Jordan is an example of troglodyte architecture


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A church in Ethiopia carved into the rock of a hill


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The largest troglodyte dwelling, Matmata in Tunisia, was constructed by making a circular crater into subterranean rock.


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The Madonna de Idris rock church in Matera in Basilicata in the south of Italy


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Troglodyte village of Uchisar in Cappadocia, Turkey




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