When speaking of places carved out of stone, our mind flies to the city of Petra, in Jordan. Although it fully deserves its reputation for beauty, there are many places in the world that are similar to these ones, and which can be considered equally beautiful.
Gila Cliff Dwellings
The cliff dwellings in New Mexico are similar to those in Mesa Verde, in the way that they were used for human comfort.
People who lived here between 1275 and 1300 and built these dwellings, left for unknown reasons. The fact is that behind them remained 46 rooms, which are believed to have been homes for 50 families, at that time.
The traces of their lives remained, however, evidence of the history of the place in New Mexico.
Bandelier National Monument
Here remained the houses carved in stone of the Native Americans. It is not their only masterpiece, because similar places are found in the U.S. In this place can be seen houses, places for ceremonies and murals.
This former settlement can be accessed in the land of Montezuma County, Colorado. It’s a huge site full of houses and villages of the indigenous. The best known from all the cliffs is Palace, which is different because of its imposing size.
Near Dalyan, Turkey, a number of graves were dug into the rock by the inhabitants of Lycia, the allies of the residents of the city of Trojan in their war. Nearby there are the ruins of the ancient city Kaunos that are also worth visiting.
The town in northeastern Ethiopia is famous for its churches carved into the rocks. The place is considered to be the holiest site in Ethiopia. The churches are representative for the Christian religion and Jerusalem. This fact has helped on dating the sculptures in the 12th century. There are 13 churches and around the site there is a system that allows filling the fountains.
In the 13th century BC, the pharaoh Ramses II asked for a temple to be built as a monument dedicated to himself and his wife. In 1968 the entire structure was moved on an artificial hill in order to eliminate the risk of flooding. It remains one of the main destinations of Egypt.
Dated in the 312 BC, the city of Petra was carved entirely in stone. Besides the decorated carvings, the local people managed to build everything in stone, a system of cisterns that allowed them to settle in an arid area. Al Khazneh is the most elaborate building of all – a temple, clearly influenced by the ancient Greek architecture.
This place is home to tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples. They are carved in caves and rocks of the Xiangshan and Longmenshan mountains in China. The first statues were made between the years 400 and 1100, being paid from donations from wealthy families, royal court and religious groups. UNESCO has called them “an incredible manifestation of human artistic creativity”.
In Maharashtra, India, these places were formed by compressing 30 Buddha statues. What makes them truly beautiful and unique are the paintings, perfect examples of the Indian art from the 2nd century BC.
It is an Indian site, considered World Heritage, which has the grander buildings carved in rocks, surpassing even the construction of Petra. The temples were built respecting the traditions of Hindu, Buddhist and Jainism. They were built between the 5th and 10th centuries, each with its striking beauty.