2014-09-05

Matmata Troglodyte Houses in Tunisia

Matmata cave town is a town of caves and a small Berber-speaking town in southern Tunisia's Djebel Dahar region. Made famous by Star Wars, some local Berber residents live in traditional underground "troglodyte" structures. Originally "Matmata" - the name of one of the tribes of the Berbers, who inhabited this area. Later the name of the village was also the name of the people who built their own houses in the form of in-depth excavation of caves in diameter from 8 to 13 meters. In some of them, you can only go down the rope or the rope ladder. 

matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Matmata

Matmata Underground Houses in Matmatat-Al-Qadimal, Tunisia


The structures typical for the village are created by digging a large pit in the ground. Around the perimeter of this pit, artificial caves are then dug to be used as rooms, with some homes comprising multiple pits, connected by trench-like.

The origins of this strange place are unknown, except for myths that have been passed down from generation to generation. The improbable account that Matata underground houses began to be built in ancient times, when the Roman Empire sent two Egyptian tribes to make their own homes in the region of Matmata, after one of the Punic Wars, with permission to kill everyone along the way. Locals had to leave their homes and dig caves in the ground to hide from the invaders. 

However, they left their shelters at night to attack the attackers, which seemed to be very effective in sending assassination groups away from Mmatâta. Legend was told in those days that monsters came from underground to kill the invaders. In any case, underground passages remained hidden in this hostile environment for centuries, and no one had any knowledge of their existence until 1967. [Wikipedia

[First Image credit Chris Rudge]
matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Matmata Tunisia
Image credit Bruce Allardice

Matmata Tunisia


It was not widely known until 1969 that there were typical settlements in the area other than the nomadic tribes. That year, torrential rains that lasted for 22 days flooded the troglodyte houses and caused many of them to collapse. The authorities help them, and the rescue team was sent to a community center in the district of Gabès. The visit was surprising, but help was given, and the construction of the upper Mmatâta site was under construction. However, most people moved on to their new home underground, and only a few families moved to the new surface dwellings.

Today, Matata is a tourist attraction, and most people live in a tourist attraction and folklore exhibitions in their underground buildings. [Wikipedia]

matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Matmata, Tunisia
Image credit Ian Cowe
matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Troglodyte architecture used in "A New Hope" and "The Phantom Menace" (Matmata, Tunisia) Image credit Pietro Izzo

matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
A Berber woman mills semolina by hand outside her beautiful cave dwelling in Matmata, Southern Tunisia. Image credit Ed Wright

matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Troglodyte style dwelling in Matmata, Tunisia. Image credit congochris

matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Matmata Tunisia star wars
Image credit Annie Noelle
matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Berber musuem Matmata Tunisia. Image credit Matthew

matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Matmata - Troglodyte Houses. Image credit Malcolm Bott

matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Troglodyte caves, Matmata. Image credit Colin Macdonald

matmata,  matmata tunisia,  matmata, tunisia,  matmata tunisia star wars,  matmata tunisia map,  matmata star wars,  matmata gabes,  homes in tunisia,  tunisia houses,  matmata tunisia star wars hotel,
Troglodyte-style dwellings in Matmata, Tunisia. Image credit congochris

Matmata Underground Houses | Video
Matmata Tunisia map

6 comments:

Alpine Ibex Goats on Dam

Ibex Mountain goats have an incredible ability to climb over rugged, mountainous terrain. Sometimes they even defy the law of gravity,  in ...