Buildings erected in incredible locations

Swallow's Nest castle

Previously we published an article on “Wonderful cliff towns” focusing on small villages built on top of cliffs, mountains and rocky hills, all offering an incredible view of the surrounding landscape.

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Today’s article, on the other hand, features all those buildings—from houses to monasteries and castles—erected in the most incredible places.

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By incredible we mean unusual, sometimes even uncomfortable, and extremely scenic.

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To make it easier we picked the five beast places from five different regions of the world: Las Lajas Sanctuary in Colombia; Golden Temple of Dambulla in Sri Lanka; Swallow’s Nest Castle in Ukraine, Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel in France, and finally Civita di Bagnoregio in Italy.


Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia

Las Lajas Sanctuary is a church located in the municipality of Nariño, in Colombia. It attracted The Golden Scope’s attention as it was built inside the canyon of the Guáitara River. You must admit that is a rather peculiar location to build a church! Anyway, Las Lajas could be dated back to the 1756–62.
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Golden Temple of Dambulla, Sri Lanka

This beautiful temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List, and it is the centre of a Buddhist cave-temple complex established in the 3rd century BC. The Golden Temple of Dambulla was built in caves, and all the mural paintings, statues and original architecture have remained intact and very well-preserved, thanks to the location (inside a cave).
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Swallow’s Nest Castle, Ukraine

Swallow’s Nest castle is located in Gaspra, a small spa town in the Crimean Peninsula. It was erected between 1911 and 1912, on top of a 40-metre high cliff. The castle overlooks the peaceful waters of the Black Sea, and it is not too far from the Roman ruins of Charax, which is another must-visit if and when in the area.
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Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel, France

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe is a stunning chapel situated in the town of Aiguilhe, in France. The building was erected in 962 BC on an 85-metre high volcanic formation. In order to reach the chapel, you will have to climb up the 268 steps carved into the rock, so we suggest you do some stretching before heading up or you won’t be able to feel your legs the next day!

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Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy

Civita di Bagnoregio is an ancient Etruscan town built over 2,500 years ago. It is positioned on top of a friable volcanic formation, and it overlooks the beautiful Tiber river valley. If you wish to go visit Civita di Bagnoregio, you better hurry as the town is in constant danger of destruction due to the friable rocks it was built on.
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(All the photos are taken from, all the videos are taken from, and all belong to their original owners) 

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