Complesso Rupestre San Giorgio Matera


audio and description


Welcome to the rock complex of San Giorgio al Paradiso, as the area has been called since the 16th century, and whose name derives from the presence of the homonymous rock church, abandoned over time; the name of the district later underwent a contraction, becoming simply “Il Paradiso.”

On both sides, you can see traces of the canal system that supplied the cisterns for collecting rainwater, with clear signs of adaptation of its path to the changes in the level of the outer courtyard. Following the construction of the building above, the route of the supply canal, lined with roof tiles, was moved towards the left wall where the gutter outlets were located.On the left, there is a cistern with the mouthpiece made of tufo stone blocks.The cistern on the right, about 6 meters from the entrance, has a double mouthpiece, one accessible from the underground space and the other, further back, that allowed drawing water directly from the upper level.A little further ahead, still on the right, you can see the exit of a so-called “chimney” which served as a connection with the staircase above, descending from the Arch of Sant’Antonio, and allowed the direct pouring of olives into the underground space when the site became an olive oil mill.1.5 meters ahead, there is a large “focagna,” a hearth that, when still in use, was equipped with a plaster and reed hood, resting on a wooden beam.