/ / Basilica of San Saturnino: photos, description (Basilica di San Saturnino)

Basilica of San Saturnino: photos, description (Basilica di San Saturnino)

Basilica of San Saturnino is an early Christian Church in Cagliari, Sardinia. For the first time this Church was mentioned in the beginning of the 6th century. Most likely, it was built near the burial place of St. Saturninus of Cagliari, which, according to a medieval document, was martyred in 304 year.

In 1089, the year of the local ruler, Giudice Constantine II, gave the whole religious complex including a monastery, under the jurisdiction of the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint Victor in Marseille. On this occasion, the Church was renovated in the Romanesque-provençal style, in 1119, the year re-consecrated.

In 1324, the year during the siege of the Castello quarter, the troops of the Aragonese dynasty the Basilica was seriously damaged, and several decades later, at the behest of king Peter IV of Aragon, she was given the knight's order of San Jorge de Alfama. In the following centuries the complex became to decline. In 1614, the year the entire area was excavated in search of relics of the first Christian martyrs of Cagliari, which are then placed in the crypt of the Cathedral. Interestingly, in 1669, the year some building materials from the Basilica of San Saturnino was used for the reconstruction of the Cathedral in the Baroque style. In 1714, the year the Basilica was consecrated again - this time in honor of saints Cosmas and Damian. The last consecration of the Church took place in 2004, the year after a long restoration that lasted from 1978 to 1996-th years.

Basilica of San Saturnino is located in the walled area next to the early Christian necropolis, which is still ongoing archaeological excavations. From the original building, which was built in the shape of a Greek cross with a transept and a semi-spherical dome, only a part is preserved. The present Church consists of a covered dome area, dated 5-6-th centuries, and the East wing with a nave and two side aisles, which ends in a semicircular apse. The Western facade of the temple, partly ruined, is divided into three sectors. Side sectors are portals with architraves topped by round lunettes. The main entrance to the Church is on the site of the former West wing - it has decorative patches made during the restorations of the 20th century. The East wing is decorated with Lombardy blind arches, but the apse, unfortunately, lost its original facing of limestone.