A late Sardinian church

The Cathedral at Sassari is at first sight an extravagantly Baroque church whose façade in facts dates from the 18th century. It is known as the Duomo di San Nicola. But like the island itself it is an intriguing blend which began as an early Romanesque structure which was built over as a Catalan Gothic building in the 15th century during the Aragonese occupation of the island. My first visual link on seeing it was in fact with the cathedral at Palma, in Mallorca.

In the three niches on the façade are three local martyrs from the harbour of Porto Torres, St Gavino, St Proto and St Gianuario, the name of the first one being a uniquely and distinctive Sardinian name. Above them, on the next storey, is a statue of San Nicola, the Greek bishop of Myra, now in Turkey, and patron saint of mariners and fishermen as well as children.

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