The poetry of the San Gavino Basilica in Porto Torres

Basilica di San Gavino a Porto Torres

A doctor specialized in physiology and neurology as well as a writer, Paolo Mategazza (1831-1910) gave a beautiful description of the oldest and largest Romanesque church in Sardinia when he said, “The roof of the San Gavino Basilica in Porto Torres is just like a poem”.

Mategazza was a famous intellectual from Monza, and wrote dozens of books; one in particular, “Profili e paesaggi della Sardegna” (Milan, 1870), seems to steer away from his usual scientific interests and instead guides us to sites such as this church, which holds the mortal remains of 4th-century martyrs Saint Gavinus, Saint Protus, and Saint Januarius.

He writes, “You stand where the ancient Torres used to be, one of the major old cities on the island. You see the gigantic ruins of the Temple of Fortuna emerge from the canes of the marsh; the locals call it ‘Palace of the Barbarian King’ in dialect. They took some magnificent columns away from those glorious ruins, to use them in the San Gavino Basilica with others of Roman origin. Now there are twenty-eight columns in different styles and every type of stone – from granite to white, gray, and ‘cipollino’ marble. The roof of the Basilica is just like a poem, and worthy of being held up by those columns because it is completely made of immense juniper beams, which you could never find on the island today…”

Beautiful words for a beautiful cathedral.

Photos via:
www.flickr.com/photos/113641824@N05/14693496450 www.flickr.com/photos/art_roman_p/6396800645 www.flickr.com/photos/danieltreacy/4955437246 www.flickr.com/photos/grisoo/170860278 www.flickr.com/photos/klausfehrenbach/2714668448 www.flickr.com/photos/manto1952/11407717324 www.flickr.com/photos/micheleaiello/2074249936 www.flickr.com/photos/paulsheldon/5059346472 www.flickr.com/photos/pilar_torres/7172865679 www.flickr.com/photos/rnyeua/537571983 www.flickr.com/photos/romanatoroberto/14523062011 www.panoramio.com/photo/2159646 www.panoramio.com/photo/15201560 www.panoramio.com/photo/26899650 www.panoramio.com/photo/28357447

March 2, 2015

The poetry of the San Gavino Basilica in Porto Torres

Porto Torres (Ss)
Via Monte Angellu, 33
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