A few Km from Matera, along the Appia Antica, in one of the ravines that furrow the plateau of Murgia, is one of the most evocative places in Southern Italy: the Crypt of Original Sin.
In a rocky cavity overlooking the cliff of calcarenite the wise hand of "Painter of the Flowers of Matera"He narrated scenes from the old and the new testament in a fresco cycle dating back to the ninth century. A.D
The Crypt of the Original Sin, formerly the church of the forehead of the Lombard-Benedictine cenobium, is one of the most significant testimonies of the early medieval painting of the Mediterranean area. For the theological and artistic value of the pictorial compendium, the church-cave has been defined as 'the Sistine Chapel' of rock wall painting. The Crypt is located along the wall of the Gravina di Picciano and is rooted in local memory as the 'Cave of the Hundred Saints', as it is completely illuminated by frescoes.
In this exceptional rock oratory, whose paintings were made five hundred years before Giotto, the art of Southern Italy is one of its initial stages. The extraordinary figurative compositions are unique for the peculiarity of the expressive register and for the rare thematic choice: from the large panel of Genesis, an authentic figured Bible destined for the people of the faithful, to the splendid triarchies placed in the three apses.
Rediscovered in the distant May 1963 The Cripta del Peccato Originale has become one of the unmissable stops on a visit to the Città dei Sassi by a group of young Matera fans.
Through a light-sound path, the visit to the "Sistine Chapel" of rock wall painting is the perfect fusion of emotion and culture.
Address: Via Cappelluti 30 - 75100 Matera