The Basilica of San Gavino is the only one church in Italy to be designed with two apses facing each other and it is also the largest Romanesque monument in Sardinia. The seventeenth-century crypt houses the relics of the Martyrs of Porto Torres, splendid sarcophagi from the Roman period and, in addition, the remains of a funerary monument of the fourth century. A.D.
The basilica is one of the wonders of the Sardinian Romanesque Style and one of the oldest, because it was built in the early eleventh century. The basilica is dedicated to the Martyrs Gavino, Proto and Gianuario, who lived at the time of the Christian persecutions of the emperors Diocletian and Maximian. Gavino, a Roman soldier, who converted after meeting Proto and Gianuario, was killed on 25th October 303 A.D. Proto and Gianuario, respectively a priest and a deacon, died on 27th October.
The church is part of the monumental complex of Monte Agellu, built on a hill that was part of the southern necropolis of the Roman colony of Turris Libisonis, where excavations have yielded hundreds of graves and the remains of at least three places of worship before the Romanesque basilica.
The visit to the Basilica of San Gavino will give you a charming blast from the past and spirituality with the possibility to admire beautiful works of art from the Middle Ages (such as the twelfth-century lunette), the Baroque (among all, the simulacra wood of the three martyrs, the equestrian statue of St. Gavino and marble statues) and the Nineteenth century (paintings and an altar dedicated to the martyrdon of Gavino, Proto and Gianuario). Finally, you can enter the world of the ancient Kingdom of Torres through its most famous church, thanks to a long journey that will take you to know the legendary tale of the founding of the basilica, the story of its factory site, sculptural testimonies made by stonemasons or those written through the ages in stone by masters and devotees who wanted to leave a trace of their pilgrimage.
Basilica of San Gavino and Atrio Metropoli
GPS 40°49’55.79” N 8°24’3.33” E