If you like a room with a view then there is no better location than the top of a cliff or the side of a mountain. Whether it’s a monastery, a castle or an entire village, people have been living in the most precarious of positions for thousands of years. The following are 10 of the most breath taking mountainside buildings on earth. They may be a little remote, hard to access and located miles from the nearest shops but these properties certainly come with one hell of a view!
Santuario de las Lajas, Colombia
The Las Lajas sanctuary is a basilica church that is situated inside a canyon of the Guaitara River in southern Colombia. The sanctuary has a spectacular bridge that connects the church to the other side of the canyon, while a shrine to the Virgin Mary has made Las Lajas both a popular pilgrimage and tourist location.
The Hanging Temple, China
The incredible Hanging Temple can be found on the side of a cliff in the Shanxi Province, China. The monastery dates back over 1,400 years, which makes the construction of the temple an even more impressive feat. The structure is located around 75m (250ft) above the ground and is secured to the cliff by wooden beams inserted into the rock.
Predjama Castle, Slovenia
Built into the side of a cave, Predjama Castle in Slovenia is without doubt one of the most impressive mountainside buildings in the world. The castle dates all the way back to 1274 but had to be rebuilt in 1570 after the original building was destroyed in a siege. The rear of the castle is also just as impressive as the front, as a passageway cuts through the rock and leads to a secret opening at the top of the mountain!
Phugtal Monastery – India
Built into the side of a cliff in northern India, the Phugtal Monastery is home to around 70 Buddhist monks. The structure dates back to the early 12th century and is one of the most remote monasteries in the world. Phugtal has no roads leading to it and can only be reached by a days walk from Dorzang.
Meteora Monasteries – Greece
The Meteora Monasteries in the Pindus Mountains in central Greece are some of the most famous clifftop buildings in the world. There are six monasteries in total, all built on the top of large sandstone rock pillars. It is unclear when the first monasteries were built but there is evidence of the monasteries existence as far back as the 11th century.
Lycian Tombs – Turkey
Ancient Lycian societies believed that the dead were carried to the afterlife by winged creatures and so always built tombs in high places. This resulted in these stunning tombs, built into the side of cliffs in southern Turkey.
Swallow’s Nest – Ukraine
The stunning Swallow’s Nest Castle in Ukraine is built on top of a 40m (130ft) cliff and provides stunning views out across the Black Sea. The castle dates back to 1912 and was built with a Neo-Gothic design, measuring just 20m long and 10m wide.
Ronda – Spain
The stunning town of Ronda in Andalucia, Spain is famous for both its precarious position and stunning views. The town sits above the El Tajo Gorge, some 100m (330ft) below. A huge bridge connects the two sides of the town, allowing both visitors and residents to enjoy the views down to the rio Guadalevin below.
Sumela Monastery – Turkey
The Sumela Monastery is perched on the side of the Pontic Mountains in Turkey, at an impressive altitude of 1,200m (3,900ft) and provides stunning views across the Altindere Valley. The Greek Orthodox monastery dates all the way back to 386 AD, although the modern building wasn’t formed until around the 13th century.
Paro Taktsang, Bhutan
Paro Taktsang or ‘The Tiger’s Nest’ is a Buddhist temple that dates back to the 17th century. The ancient building is perched on the side of a cliff face, some 3,000 ft above the Paro valley below. Even if Buddhism isn’t your thing, the view alone is worth the trip.