Here’s a selection of six stunning locations, all in Europe, where cities and towns are perched precariously, delicately, but neatly on the edge of rock and cliff faces. Taking advantage of volcanic eruptions of millenium’s past, or gorges from wild flowing rivers, many of these locations were initially established for their natural fort-like characteristics. Today, many of them are tourist Mecca’s.
In the process of researching and writing this article, the number of analogies for “living on the edge” that came into my head was wide.
In the end, however, I thought it best to let the images speak for themselves.
Certainly not for the faint hearted.
The locations featured are:
– Cuenca, Spain: Cuenca is a city in the autonomous community of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain, and is one of the country’s largest provinces. It is located across a steep spur, whose slopes descend into deep gorges of the Júcar and Huécar rivers.
– Bonifacio, France: It is located just west of Cap Pertusato, the southernmost point of the island of Corsica. Bonifacio is perched on a narrow limestone peninsula about 1.6km long that parallels the coast and forms a natural harbour. It was for this reason that it was initially founded as a defence against pirates in the 1st Century.
– Castellfollit de la Roca, Spain: Located in Catalonia, the town is situated on a basalt crag, formed by the overlaying of two lava flows, and is over 50 metres high and almost a kilometre long.
– Ronda, Spain: With a population of just over 35,000, Ronda is located in the Spanish province of Malaga. In a very mountainous area, the city was initially settled by the Romans as a fort.
– Manarola, Italy: A very small town, Manarola is located in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy and can trace its origins back to the 14th Century.
– Santorini, Greece: Often described as one of the most stunning places on earth, Santorini is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast from the Greek mainland and is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. The earliest human settlement known is the 4th millennium BC.