Religious building

Basilica di San Saturnino

Piazza San Cosimo, Cagliari
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Dedicated to the patron saint of Cagliari, theBasilica di San Saturno is in the area of the most ancient Christian necropolisof 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 onthe sepulchre of San Saturno, martyred in 304. The original building had aGreek cross plan with hemispherical dome at the crossing. Now only the centralstructure and part of the apse are left. In 1089 the judge of CagliariCostantino Salusio II de Lacon- Gunale gave the basilica to the Vittorini monksfrom Marseille. The monks restructured it with typical early Romanesque shapesand it became residence of the Sardinian priorate of the Order. After thedamages during the 14th century, the basilica became property of theArchdiocese of Cagliari in the mid-15th century. The famous archaeologicalexcavations that started in 1614 searching for the %u201Choly bodies%u201D, the relics ofsaints, brought to light several graves. At the end of the same century thebasilica was partly dismantled and materials reused in the Baroque rebuildingof the cathedral. It was often restored in the 20th century, while the area of thenecropolis is still being excavated.


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