Necropolis of Mesu 'e Montes

Province of Sassari, Italy

The Necropolis of Mesu 'e Montes complex consists of 18 domus de Janas (type of pre-Nuragic chamber tombs in Sardinia). The site dates from the Neolithic to Middle Bronze Age. Of particular note, tombs I and II with 12 chambers each, decorated with a variety of features, a ceiling reproducing a gabled roof and a circular hearth sculpted into the floor; and tombs III, IV and XVI, all of architectural interest, with a curved stele in the centre of the exedra. 

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Details

Founded: 3000 BCE
Category: Cemeteries, mausoleums and burial places in Italy

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

giovanna mastino (3 months ago)
one discovery after another! an enchanting place
Giuseppe Murgia (6 months ago)
The three stars are for the lack of signage ... to get on the site and for the state of neglect of the same "sin" .... for the rest I must say that the necropolis is beautiful ... made up in some tombs XIII to visit them you need to relax and once inside you will realize that there the time has stopped .... I advise!
Layledda (11 months ago)
Leaving the SP97, take a concrete road for a few hundred meters and you will reach a well-kept and welcoming area where you can take a walk or a picnic. On the left you will find stone salt pans that will lead you directly to the necropolis. The tombs are numbered. Don't miss tomb II with a very special hearth and bull horns on the walls and pillars. Going further you will find one of the most beautiful elevations I have ever seen with evident grooves for the three betilini on the top. Also fantastic is the glance on the surrounding nature.
Vincenzo Rampinelli (2 years ago)
Very suggestive place, true "Soul" of Sardinia. RECOMMENDATION: take a pile with you to see the incisions inside the caves, especially those in Tomb 2, recognizable by the small square entrance. And don't be afraid of the swarms of little flies present: they do nothing!
mario sassari (2 years ago)
To see absolutely. Easy to find and with ample parking near the entrance. Various types of domus, simple and with an architectural elevation. The climb to reach the necropolis is easy and pleasant. Area also suitable for a cultural outing with a packed lunch.
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From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.