Sassari Cathedral

Sassari, Italy

Sassari Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Nicholas and is the seat of the Archbishop of Sassari. It was built in the Romanesque style in the 12th century. The present building also includes Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical elements. Construction was finished in the 18th century.

Gothic vaults, a baroque façade and classical décor are the result of reconstruction work, while its roots are ancient and humble, linked to the origins of the city. The first mention of the church is in the Condaghe of San Pietro di Silki dating back to 1135. It was built over an early Christian building, the remains of which can be seen beneath the apse. The first reconstruction took place in the 13th century in Romanesque style: still remaining is the bell tower, standing to the left of the temple, to which a turret with a small dome was added five centuries later. In the second half of the 15th century, now upgraded to the rank of cathedral, San Nicola took on a Gothic-Catalan style. After more than two centuries, other works gave it its current appearance, which will strike you with its splendid baroque façade. It has three orders: a portico with three rounded arches with an entrance portal, three niches decorated with the statues of Sassari's martyrs Gavino, Proto and Gianuario, and a large pediment with a single niche, where there is the simulacrum of St Nicholas. At the top, there is a sculpture of God Almighty.

After crossing through the portico, which has a starred cross-vault, you will enter the single large nave, divided into two spans with eight chapels. Look up at the ribs of the vaults, following their rhythm to the junction with the transept, where you will see a Renaissance-inspired cupola. Looking further down, you will see the greater altar made of marble, in classical style (dated 1690), with Corinthian capitals. Above the altar, there is the Madonna del Bosco (Madonna of the Forest), a painting of the Sienese school (14th century). In the transept, you will notice the chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament, with a Late Baroque altar in which there is the Coena Domini, a painting dating back to the 19th century, while on the left there is the chapel named after St Anna, with the sculpture of the Mausoleum of Placido Benedetto of Savoy. Behind the altar, the apse has two areas: in one, there is a wooden 18th century choir. These are among the many treasures in the cathedral, a treasure chest of paintings and sculptures by artists from the 16th to 19th centuries.

In the centre of Sassari other places of worship stand out, like the churches of Santa Maria di Betlem and Sant'Apollinare, the oldest in the city, as well as Piazza d'Italia and Fontana di Rosello, its historical and cultural symbols and in Cavalcata Sarda and Discesa dei Candelieri, its most important festive celebrations.

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Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

mo. goes (2 years ago)
Very interesting building outside, only open for services.
Joseph Hartl (2 years ago)
Very nice place which is worth to see
Giordano Zanoli (2 years ago)
Really impressive
Ondrej Iván (2 years ago)
Nice catedral. Especially the front facade it’s really stunning
Georges Younes (3 years ago)
The left side of the cathedral is perhaps the most interesting aspect of this building because it reveals several architectural styles. Since it took 600 years to complete, the cathedral mixes Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical elements. The ornate facade will not fail to impress, but don't let it stop you from checking out the rest of the building.
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