Buildings and towns around the world have used cliffs for centuries for safety from attack and panoramic views of surrounding areas. Here are some of the coolest and bizarre cliff buildings in the world.
The Hanging Houses (Casas Colgadas) were built on a cliff overlooking the Huécar River more than 500 years ago. Once part of an extensive complex, only a few of the original houses remain. The Hanging Houses have been refurbished many times, and some now boast cantilevered wooden balconies.
Rocamadour, France. Built on the cliff top above Rocamadour, this Mediveal castle served to protect Rocamadour’s famous monastic buildings and churches that were built into the cliff and were an important pilgrimage site.
Keiss, Scotland. Placed on a precipitous cliff, this castle was built (possibly) over the site of an older fortress in the 16th-17th century.
Chittorgarh, India. Placed on a tabletop mountain largely surrounded by sheer cliffs, this ancient and historically important fortress is staggeringly huge. Once said to be impregnable, it is one of the largest Ancient or Medieval fortresses ever built.
Ascher Guesthouse, Switzerland
Ascher Guesthouse is located next to the Wildkirchli caves and below the Ebenalp cliff (Ebenalp is the northernmost summit of the Appenzell Alps in Switzerland) the was Guesthouse carefully built into the side of a mountain during the 19th century. The Swiss call it “Berggasthaus” which means a Mountain-Guesthouse. It is a Matratzenlager (dormitory). It has several rooms with large mattresses that are designed to throw a sleeping bag on, it is not fancy but the scenery is breath taking, and there is also a nice restaurant there too.
The village of Positano built into the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, Italy. Photo by Navin Sarma
Civita Di Bagnoregio, Italy. Built in the 6th century BC by the Etruscans, this naturally fortified town was designed for defense. It is completely surrounded by vertical cliffs (only access is via a steep bridge) and has carved underground chambers for storage.
The cliff town of Rocamadour, France