Rock church

The rock church of Sant’Angelo and Santa Maria, better known as the “Cripta del Peccato Originale” (Crypt of Original Sin), is the oldest-known rock church in Matera, and is decorated with two wonderful frescoes dating from the Lombard period. It was documented and dated to 774 by the Chronicon Sanctae Sophiae of Benevento. The church is a natural cave in which there are three frescoed apses facing east. There are the images of St. Peter between Apostles John and Andrew, another of the Virgin Mary between two female saints and St. Michael the Archangel between the Archangels Gabriel and Raphael. On the right wall there are frescoes depicting various episodes from the book of Genesis: the creation of day and night, the creation of Adam and Eve, and the temptation of Eve by the snake and of Adam by Eve. The three scenes are separated by two trees: a withered palm and a fig tree around which the snake is coiled. On the same wall, in the lower part next to what was probably a Lombard arcosolium, there are frescoes of deacon in the act of pouring water from a pitcher onto the hands of a bishop who most likely commissioned the frescoes.


Biglietto di ingresso:


This rock church is mistakenly known as the Cripta del Peccato Originale (Crypt of Original Sin), the Cave of Original Sin, the Cave of Saints, the Cave of One-hundred Saints, the Sistine Chapel of rupestrian wall paintings, the Cave of the Flower Painter of Matera and the Cave of Genesis. The site is managed by Syncronos.