Rock Cut Tombs and Temples Around The World

Here are some of the most known rock cut tombs and temples around the world

Petra

Petra is a famous archaeological site in Jordan’s southwestern desert. Dating to around 300 B.C., it was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom. Accessed via a narrow canyon called Al Siq, it contains tombs and temples carved into pink sandstone cliffs, earning its nickname, the “Rose City.” Perhaps its most famous structure is 45m-high Al Khazneh, a temple with an ornate, Greek-style facade, and known as The Treasury.

rock cut tombs
nabu.official

Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel is a historic site comprising two massive rock-cut temples in the village of Abu Simbel, Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt, near the border with Sudan. It is situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km southwest of Aswan.

rock cut tombs
elliottbennett

Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings, also known as the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock-cut tombs were excavated for the pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom.

rock cut tombs
Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Valley of the Queens

The Valley of the Queens is a site in Egypt, where the wives of pharaohs were buried in ancient times. It was known then as Ta-Set-Neferu, meaning “the place of beauty”. It was most famous for being the burial site of many wives of Pharaohs. Pharaohs themselves were buried in the Valley of the Kings.

rock cut tombs
afroasiantravel

Ellora Caves

Ellora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India. It is one of the largest rock-cut Hindu temple cave complexes in the world, with artwork dating from the period 600–1000 CE.

rock cut tombs
@whimsical.wayward.wandering

Ajanta Caves

The Ajanta Caves are approximately 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments dating from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state in India.

rock cut tombs
kevinstandage1

Lalibela Churches

The eleven Rock-hewn Churches of Lalibela are monolithic churches located in the Western Ethiopian Highlands near the town of Lalibela, named after the late-12th and early-13th century King Gebre Mesqel

rock cut tombs
@geosteinmetz

Churches of Goreme

Göreme is a district of the Nevşehir Province in Turkey. After the eruption of Mount Erciyes about 2.6 million years ago, ash and lava formed soft rocks in the Cappadocia Region, covering a region of about 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 sq mi). The softer rock was eroded by wind and water, leaving the hard cap rock on top of pillars, forming the present-day fairy chimneys.

Churches of Goreme
ciprianomalo

Yungang Grottoes

The Yungang Grottoes, formerly the Wuzhoushan Grottoes, are ancient Chinese Buddhist temple grottoes near the city of Datong in the province of Shanxi. They are excellent examples of rock-cut architecture and one of the three most famous ancient Buddhist sculptural sites of China. The others are Longmen and Mogao.

Yungang Grottoes
onmetlesvoiles

Longmen Grottoes

The Longmen Grottoes or Longmen Caves are some of the finest examples of Chinese Buddhist art. Housing tens of thousands of statues of Shakyamuni Buddha and his disciples, they are located 12 kilometres south of present-day Luoyang in Henan province, China.

Longmen Grottoes
@cocoanext

Mogao Caves

The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Grottoes or Caves of the Thousand Buddhas, form a system of 500 temples 25 km southeast of the center of Dunhuang, an oasis located at a religious and cultural crossroads on the Silk Road, in Gansu province, China.

Mogao Caves
gettymuseum

Mada’in Saleh

Hegra, also known as Mada’in Salih, is an archaeological site located in the area of al-‘Ula within Medina Province in the Hejaz, Saudi Arabia. A majority of the remains date from the Nabataean Kingdom.

Mada'in Saleh
@andredemello

Lycian Tombs

Lycia was a federation of ancient cities situated in what are now the Turkish provinces of Antalya and Muğla. The Lycian tombs are elaborate funeral chambers carved directly into the rock face, usually into a cliff. Most often, the tombs are carved like the facade of timber Lycian houses. The rock-cut tombs of wealthy Lycians were finely worked with elaborate relief carving. On some of the rock-cut tombs the exterior is decorated with reliefs depicting the specific features of the deceased and the main events of the period. The entrance were sealed with a sliding stone door that ran sideways along a groove.

Lycian Tombs
jozefgorskiphotography

Tomb of the Kings

The Tombs of the Kings is a large necropolis lying about two kilometres north of Paphos harbour in Cyprus. In 1980, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Paphos and Kouklia.

Tomb of the Kings
kaikkimaanosat