Craco: The Medieval Ghost Town of Southern Mexico

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Craco: The Medieval Ghost Town of Southern Mexico

 

Craco, Italy was once a vibrant city. History says that humans have lived there since at least the 8th century BC. According to reports, it was called Monte D'Oro, "mountain of gold.” In reality, it was called Grachium, the Latin word for "plowed field." In 1060 AD, Craco was put under the possession of a bishop named Arnaldo. Since then, a lot of buildings have been established in the area.

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

For instance, citizens erected the town's oldest building, “Torre Normanna,” and a university. In the 13th century, the population kept growing, reaching 2,590 in the year 1561. During this time, the construction of four large plazas was completed. According to All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, Craco survived several challenges. The town managed to overcome several occupations and plunderers brought by the Unification of Italy.

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

Aside from that, it survived the Black Death in the mid-1600s which caused the death of hundreds of residents. Yet, most of the people survived by 1815. In fact, it was even large enough to divide into two districts. However, Craco is now effectively a ghost town, reduced to nothing but ancient ruins for half a century. It is believed that this is due to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, landslides, and floods that brought the town down. The residents started evacuating and things were never quite the same.

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

Nonetheless, Craco’s grand architecture is still fascinating. In 2007, the descendants of the immigrants of Craco in the US formed a group called “The Craco Society.” This aims to memorialize the village saying, "Although 'Craco Vecchio' is no longer inhabited, it remains robust in the minds and hearts of the Crachese people everywhere." The town consists of ruins, but tourists still come to explore it. Aside from that, Craco has been featured in several Hollywood films such as the 2004 movie “The Passion of The Christ” and the 2008 James Bond flick “Quantum of Solace."

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