Building Technology
Architecture in rock
Dear friends,

I'm looking for a source about architecture in rock. It means the kind of architecture which was produced by carving the rocks to create spaces for some acts. Does anybody know something about this matter?

My case study is Masjid-e Sangi Darab (Darab Rock mosque). This mosque belongs to the 7th century, located near Darab town, in the south of Iran. I would like to find other type of this architecture around the world or some logbooks from Orientalists who have traveled through Iran during last two centuries. Thanks
Reza Mehdi
Architecture in rock
Some incredible examples of rock architecture are the churches of Lalibela of Ethopia and the Khazneh, in the city of Petra, Jordan.
Shiraz Allibhai
Architecture in rock
Hello Reza,

It would be quite interesting for you have a look at rock-cut architecture of Ellora in india. Especially, cave no. 16 i.e. Kailashnatha Temple at Ellora that belongs to the 9th century. That's one of the most important examples of rock-cut architecture where the product is 'mass' out of 'mass', instead of 'void' out of 'mass' as seen in usual rock-cut architecture. There are other examples like the Elephanta Caves near Bombay, Karla Caves, Kanheri Caves, etc. that belong to the 4-6th century.
Sachin Soni
Architecture in rock
The Cappadocia (Kapadokya) region in Central Anatolia, Turkey is famous for habitations carved in rock since the neolithic period. Most of what remains is of the late Byzantine period; there are houses and churches carved into the faces of cliffs and into rock outcroppings known as 'fairy chimneys' (there are also a few underground towns). They've been used as a hiding spot by the early Christians, and later, by those Christians evading the Iconoclasts.

These cavernous rock formations were generated by the erosion of volcanic ash. There are a few abandoned rock-carved towns that can be visited near Goreme and Urgup, while rock-houses are still restored and inhabited within the towns themselves. See Cappodocia houses on ArchNet Digital Library, for example. The Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

Here are a few homepages with photos:

Ozgur Basak Alkan
Architecture in rock
Dear Mr Mehdi,

Such architecture is known to me from the Berber architecture in Tunis. There I saw houses carved into the rocks. Try going down this path.

Best wishes,
Ahmad Ghabin
Architecture in rock
You can look for Matmata, Chenini and Tataouine (Tunisia). There are beautiful example of that type of architecture.
Eliana Gitto
Architecture in rock
Hi, you can find this kind of architectural style in ancient temple in Egypt, such as Abu Simple temple, and Queen Hetsha Temple in the King Valley. Furthermore, rock-cut style is found in Madain Saleh in Saudi Arabia.

I hope you can find these information helpful.
Badar Alhadabi
Architecture in rock
Also look at Maalula, 50 kilometres from Damascus in Syria.
Steve Jepson
Architecture in rock
Here are a few other examples:

1. Yungang caves in the Shanxi district in China. These caves were completed during the Northern Wei Dynasty (460-494 AD). They are a series of 53 caves, accommodating over 51,000 stone sculptures.
The site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 2001.

2. Rock-cut temples and caves at Mahabalipuram in India. This set of monuments were carved out by the Pallava dynasty in the 7th and 8th century along the Coromandel coast.
The site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1985.
Anjali Agarwal
Architecture in rock
I think you know that in north west of iran there is a village that is called "CANDOVAN" .
This village has been built in rock by carving the stone of rock.
Nasim Iranmanesh


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