Romanesque Churches in Sardinia

Sardinia is known for its specific style of Romanesque architecture, which is  particularly evident in the island’s churches. Of which there are many scattered throughout the island, both in urban and rural settings. Built using local stone such as volcanic rock, the use of these materials with influences from different parts of mainland Italy and France is what in part gave the churches constructed in Sardinia their distinctive appearance.  In the south we see Provençal influences, while Lombard traditions are evident in the north of the island.

Romanesque Churches in Sardinia

Basilica of San Simplicio, Olbia

The Church of Saint Simplicio in Olbia is one of Sardinia’s most important religious monuments. And it stands on a small hill that has a long sacred history, with Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and the early Christians. This is also the spot where Simplicio was persecuted for his Christian beliefs and killed on 15 May 304 AD. He is still the patron saint of Olbia. The Romanesque basilica we see today was built in three distinct phases, beginning in the 11th century. Built entirely from granite, it has a striking façade with a triple lancet window and a three aisled nave. The aisles are separated by columns some of which have decorated Romanesque capitals.

San Lussorio Church & Crypt

On the edge of Fordongianus is the Romanesque church dedicated to the Christian Martyr Lussorio. Monks from San Vittore of Marseilles built the church in the 12th century. The church was constructed on the ruins of a 4th century Paleo-Christian church. The new church helped preserve the original crypt that housed the tomb of Lussorio, and some of the frescoes and mosaics still survive today. It is possible to enter the church and crypt; arrangements need to be made in advance.