The beautiful territory of Matera is enriched by 155 rock churches. Many of them still keep on their walls almost undamaged beautiful frescoes and architectural decorations. Others, on the other hand, have undergone a transformation over the centuries becoming dwellings or shelter for animals. The high number of rock churches, coenobies, crypts and hypogeous churches is connected to the settlement of numerous religious communities (mainly Benedectine and Byzantine monks) in the Murgia region around the IX century. Apparently the Murgia area was particularly sutable for prayer and meditation.
Particularly interesting and charming are the Crypt of the Original Sin, Madonna delle Virtù e San Nicola dei Greci, Santa Lucia alle Malve, Madonna de Idris and San Giovanni in monterrone.