Nostra Segnora de Mesumundu

Siligo, Italy

Nostra Segnora de Mesumundu is located in the archaeological complex with the same name. It was built in the 6th century, during the Byzantine domination of the island, over a pre-existing Roman structure (2nd century AD). The Byzantines re-used part of the walls of the Roman building, as well as the aqueduct. The edifice could have been used as a baptistery. However, it is also possible that it was used for the purification of ill people through an immersion rite.

In 1063, the structure was donated by the Giudice (duke) Barisone I of Torres to the Abbey of Montecassino. When monks came from the Italian religious community, they adapted the building for Roman Catholic use, adding an apse and a new entrance (demolished in 1934). For the work, they used materials from the nearby Roman ruins and the nuraghe Culzu.



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SP80, Siligo, Italy
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Founded: 6th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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User Reviews

mauro tavella (4 months ago)
Small church, Roman architectural jewel and reused in a later period, adjacent to the thermal baths built, certainly to be enhanced.
Michele Marras (11 months ago)
The church of "Nostra Segnora de mesu mundu" is in a rural region rich in both mineral and spa. "Funtana de Púbulos" was "a great spring two miles away from the said Church towards Tramontana '; Abba de Bagnos a closer and warmer, who suggested identifying a balnearium in the building Roman, adapted to church (G. Spano). They are perhaps late Roman imperial baths, already in ruins when there an early medieval domed rotunda was built from scratch. Outside its perimeter walls yes they placed Byzantine tombs, which returned digital silver rings, bronze buckles, gold earrings; the inscription to the seventh century counts as ante quem for the church. The denomination of "mesu mundu" it would derive from a Sardinian entry for "dome" (A. Della Marmora); that of "Púbulos" is corruption of toponym Bubalis, given to the region starting from the 1065 map with which S. Maria was donated by the judge Torcotorio-Barisone I de Lacon-Gunale to the abbey of Montecassino. Still in the last century, i ruins around the church were identified by the locals as "Domos de Benedectinos" (G. Spano). The installation of a Cassinese monastic community led to the construction of an apse oriented and of an apsed north compartment, perhaps in replacement of two arms, similar to those which grafted and coeval with the domed rotunda hints at a cruciform icnography. The plant walls are distinguished by the "opus listatum ”in a variable number of courses with alternate bands of brick and basaltic corners; the great lights they have brick ribs. The early Romanesque apses are in black subsqual, small basaltic ashlars size, installed in rows of a certain regularity; the extrados of the basin falls within the tax line. The north compartment has sack walls, in limestone of various sizes; there is a short single lancet window cut flush.
franco morittu (2 years ago)
Fantastic place
Paolo Lombardi (3 years ago)
Ancient Roman baths transformed into a Christian place of worship.
Antica Sardegna (3 years ago)
The church of Santa Maria di Mesumundu is one of the most fascinating monuments of Sardinian medieval architecture, due to its singular forms and the construction technique ad opus listatum, which alternates rows of red bricks with courses of small basaltic stones of dark color.
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Quimper Cathedral

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.