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On the Italian island of Sicily, about 70 km from the capital city Palermo, is a huge labyrinth of concrete hugging the side of a hill like an enormous grey-white tortoise shell. The maze of pathways through this concrete slab precisely corresponds to the street-plan of the old town of Gibellina that once stood here before it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1968.

The Belice earthquake that rocked the island on the night of January 14 and 15 affected about a dozen towns. Gibellina suffered the most. Unfortunately, relief efforts were as disastrous as the earthquake itself and thousands remained homeless for years after the disaster, living in temporary prefabricated houses near the ruins of their former homes. Eventually, the ravaged towns were abandoned and rebuilt in new locations.

cretto-di-burri-gibellina-1

Photo credit: Grand Voyage Italy

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© Amusing Planet, 2016.


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