Houses built without concrete and nails

11 September 2015 |

These stone buildings that were constructed without concrete and nails several centuries ago, remained as they are to this day. To dismantle the buildings you just need to take away only a single stone.

The unique elements of architecture are situated in Alberobello, Bari provence (Italy). Tidy houses that look like coming from a fairy tale with conical roofs were built of sandstone in XVI century. They are called trulli that means the dome (from Italian).

дома трулли

The houses with concical roofs became a visiting card of Alberobello long ago. There is a whole block with these houses in the city. It is even called the cultural center of Val d’Itria.


Since the old days the Italians specialized in construction of buildings using dry masonry method. Means, construction without a single drop of adhesive solution. Houses made of sandstone slabs considered the most durable and strong those days.

трули дома

To dismantle the building by hand in the shortest possible time was the easiest task. It was sufficient to take one stone out of the roof as it was the only stone the whole construction was supported by.

круши домо трулли

Such strange and easy dismantling was conditioned by the fact that in the second part of XVI century the Kingdom of Naples established huge tax for real estate construction. That’s why it was extremely important for citizens that in case of their houses’ inspection they would be easily destroyed and it would be possible to pretend that there wasn’t any settlement there.

дома трулли альберобелло

To build trulli they used sandstone – the material that the surrounding landscape was rich of. A monolithic block was used as a bearing wall.


The houses were round, one-storied, with thick walls. The roofs were decorated with special dome of various forms. One could define by them what was the owner’s class and judge about the builder’s skill.

трулли улица альберобелло

Each building had only one room without windows but with an oven, a fireplace and a small ventilation opening in the roof. By the way, this type of roofs was a perfect protection from the bad weather. There also were special ducts to collect rainwater.

трулли улица альберобелло

There were one-room trulli as well but they were rather additional buildings.

Decoration of the buildings was modest, without internal walls’ finish. The furniture was mostly wooden.

трулли улица альберобелло

There are not so many trulli today – only about 1500 houses. And the majority of the trulli in Alberobello are fake buildings. But real old houses are great for accomodation. Part of them are gift shops, restaurants and bars. Locals live in some of them and of course have much more comfortable conditions than their ancestry had.

трулли улица альберобелло

By the way, sale of the trulli is a good business today as there are many tourists who wish to buy such an exotic and unique estate. And it doesn’t matter that the cost of one square meter starts from 6 000 euro.

альбероьелло бассейн дом трулли

Each year this place attracts thousands of tourists who wish to enjoy unique architecture of trulli, have dinner or even spend the night in one of them.


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