The Basilica di San Marino is dedicated to Saint Marinus, the founder and patron of the San Marino Republic. The present church was built in 1836 in place of an earlier one that dated to 7th century. It is built in the Neoclassical style, with a porch of eight Corinthian columns. Relics of St. Marino are enshrined in the basilica.
An earlier church was erected on the spot in the 4th century which was dedicated to the same patron. The first document attesting the existence of the church dates to 530 in the La Vita di San Severino by Eugippius. A later document, the Placito Feretrano, dates from 885. The first document that directly relates to the 'Pieve di San Marino' is dated 31 July 1113, with donations from the faithful public.
At the beginning of the 1800s, the church was in critical condition. In 1807, it was razed and a project for the construction of the new church was handed to the Bolognese Achille Serra. In 1825, the council decided to build a new church in the place where the old church had stood. Construction began in 1826 and was completed in 1838. On 5 February 1838, the church was solemnly inaugurated in the presence of the Bishop of Montefeltro, Crispino Agostinucci and the Captain's-Regent.
Over the course of centuries, the basilica has witnessed civil turmoil. Because of this, in 1992, the Vatican made several decrees. These included that the basilica, as the mother-church of all churches within the Republic, is made exempt from the jurisdiction of the parish of the city of San Marino. The basilica is entrusted to the care of a priest who holds the title of Rector, and the Rector is appointed and removed in accordance with canon law.
The interior of the basilica consists of three naves, supported by sixteen Corinthian columns which form a large ambulatory around the semicircular apse. The altar is adorned by a statue of St. Marino by Adamo Tadolini, a student of Antonio Canova. Under the altar are relics of St. Marino which were found on 3 March 1586; some relics were donated to the island of Rab (Croatia), the birthplace of the saint, on 28 January 1595. A reliquary bust in silver and gold dated to 2 September 1602 lies to the right of altar. In the right aisle is a small altar dedicated to Mary Magdelene and a painting by Elisabetta Sirani.
The Chiesa di San Pietro is located at the Basilica of San Marino, to the side of the front steps. It was originally built in 600. It houses a valuable altar with inlaid marble, donated by the musician Antonio Tedeschi in 1689, which is surmounted by a statue dedicated to St. Peter by Enrico Saroldi. In the crypt of this church there are two niches cut into rock that are said to be the beds of San Marino and San Leo. Inside is a monument to Pope John XXIII, erected by the Government of the Republic.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick.