Basilica di San Saturnino
Dedicated to the patron saint of Cagliari, the Basilica di San Saturno is in the area of the most ancient Christian necropolis of Cagliari, one of the most important early Christian complexes in Sardinia. The building dates back to the 5th-6th century AD, and perhaps it was built on the sepulchre of San Saturno, martyred in 304. The original building had a Greek cross plan with hemispherical dome at the crossing. Now only the central structure and part of the apse are left. In 1089 the judge of Cagliari Costantino Salusio II de Lacon- Gunale gave the basilica to the Vittorini monks from Marseille. The monks restructured it with typical early Romanesque shapes and it became residence of the Sardinian priorate of the Order. After the damages during the 14th century, the basilica became property of the Archdiocese of Cagliari in the mid-15th century. The famous archaeological excavations that started in 1614 searching for the %u201Choly bodies%u201D, the relics of saints, brought to light several graves. At the end of the same century the basilica was partly dismantled and materials reused in the Baroque rebuilding of the cathedral. It was often restored in the 20th century, while the area of the necropolis is still being excavated.
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