Barletta Cathedral (Concattedrale di Santa Maria Maggiore) is currently a co-cathedral in the Archdiocese of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie. It was built in two different styles, Romanesque and Gothic, from the 12th century to the 14th century.
The church occupies the site of ancient hypogeum structures dating from the late 4th-early 3rd centuries BC, attributed to an ancient temple dedicated to Neptune. From the 6th century AD a first palaeo-Christian basilica existed here, having three naves with a central apse, five meters under the current cathedral. After the destruction of the ancient Canosa by Muslim raiders, numerous clerics moved to the Barlettan church, which was renamed as Santa Maria de Auxilio: the 9th century structure had a Latin cross plan, with a pavement mosaic of which traces exist today.
A Romanesque church was built over the pre-existing one in Norman times (12th century), known as Sancta Maria Majoris. Late in the same century the bell tower was also raised, and the capitals of the cyborium were executed by oriental artists. Later the matronei, the mullioned window and the rose window of the western façade were added. The new church was consecrated in 1267. It had a nave and two aisles, divided by two rows each composed of three granite columns and three pillars. In the 13th century two bays and three semicircular apses (similar to those in Trani Cathedral) were also added.
In the 13th century the Palatine Count Giovanni Pipino da Barletta, a friend of king Charles I of Anjou, promoted a further expansion of the church. The edifice was enlarged eastwards, with a new choir and the removal of the apse and other parts, replaced by new Gothic structures. The renovation ended only in the 16th century.
The church is oriented from east to west, with the Gothic ambulatory oriented eastwards, towards the Castle and the Palazzo Santacroce. The bell tower is located on the northern side, and gives access to the castle through an archway under which are remains of the ancient church's pavement.
The church has a rich medieval decoration including capitals with animals, monsters and other fantastic figures. The main façade had originally three portals: the central one, destroyed in unknown circumstances, was replaced by a Renaissance one. Some bas-reliefs from the original portal are inside the cathedral, portraying scenes of the Last Supper and the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem.References:
Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.
The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.
The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.
Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.
The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.
The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.