Around the world, villages have been built in some unique places, from cliffs to caves, because their founders could use the shape of landscape to their advantage.
Here we take a look at how nature has shaped some unbelievable towns, starting with a town built under a rock.
Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain
The Spanish town of Setenil de las Bodegas was built into and under the rock walls of a narrow river gorge that was eroded by the Rio Trejo river.
Because of the rocky overhang, in some areas of the town, it actually looks like the rock is falling onto the buildings themselves. It is believed that the town has been inhabited since pre-historic times, reports Messy Nessy Chic, and that the cave-like houses were built for practical reasons: the natural caves could be easily converted into houses by just adding an external wall.
Setenil de las Bodegas is a town in the province of Cádiz, Spain, famous for its dwellings built into rock overhangs above the Rio Trejo. According to the 2005 census, the city has a population of 3,016 inhabitants. (Flickr/maesejose)
Coober Pedy, Australia
The town’s entire population of about 3,000 people lives underground, in a series of intricate tunnels.
Located in the harsh Outback of South Australia, the remote town of Coober Pedy was founded in 1915 to mine opals. The extreme heat of this desert region, however, forced the inhabitants to take extreme measures to continue surviving in the region. Having just returned from World War I, soldiers implemented a new way of living by digging underground dwellings, or “dugouts” to escape the high temperatures, similar to the trench tunnels they had dug in France, writes the town’s official website. Today, the towns 2000 residents live in the underground tunnel town, which holds of about 1,500 houses, according to The Epoch Times.
Summer cottages of Stockholm Archipelago are seen on 15 January, 2010. During the winter, ferries continue sailing in the Baltic Sea, partly frozen between Sweden and Finland.
Founded in 1252, Sweden’s capital city of Stockholm is actually built on an archipelago which extends from the city about 37 miles and comprising of approximately 25,000 islands. This archipelago of islands, called “Skärgården” which means “garden of skerries”, was created by glaciers that left chunks of granite behind, reports The BBC. The islands range in size and remain a popular tourist destination today.
A cave dwelling in Troo, western France.
Troo is renowned for being one of the best preserved cave villages in France. Its cave-houses date back to the 11th and 12th century and are called “caforts.” They have been built into the slopes of a steep hill, located along the Rue Haute (High Street). Visitors can experience one of these cave dwellings by visiting “La Cave Yuccas,” which has been furnished with antiques, or the Friend of Troo cave, an exhibition that recreates the interior of a cave dwelling.
Deep in the heart of Turkey, in the semi-arid region of Cappadocia, sedimentary rock formations that have been eroded by rain and water into unique and beautiful shapes. Starting in the fourth century A.D., according to National Geographic, people began carving into these peculiar-shaped rock formations and they created an extensive network of cave-like houses, churches, tunnels and monasteries known as the fairy chimneys of Goreme. These buildings came to serve as a refuge for early Christians, protecting them from Roman Empire persecution and Arab invations. Some of these ancient homes are still inhabited today, while others have been converted into museums and hotels.
Islands of the Uros, Peru
The Uros people of Peru live on floating islands that they have crafted from havrves reed, which grows along the edges of Lake Titicaca, Puno, and bundled together to create floating island platforms. Each island includes several simple, reed houses (the biggests islands house about 10 families) and the largest island has watchtower, reports Atlas Obscura. These floating villages, called “totora” were first built around the 13th century to escape Incas attacks, according to The BBC, since the island villages could be moved on the water like a raft to escape danger.
A view of the walled city of Nordlingen, which is situated on a large meteorite crater.
Located in Bavaria Germany, the walled city of Nordlingen is completely round, built inside a huge, round meteorite crater. Built in 898, this
beautiful town is known for its red-roofed homes and Gothic churches and features an impressive tower that was built from the rock that was formed during the meteorite impact. The crater is thought to have formed some 14.5 million years ago, reports The BBC.
Starting in the 13th Century, if not before, residents of this town carved their cone-like homes from the area’s soft, volcanic rock – an inheritance from previous eruptions of the now-dormant Mt Sahand volcano. Located a 55km drive south of Tabriz, the town looks like a giant termite colony of pockmarked, earthen cones.