During the Middle Ages, between the X and XIV century, Sardinia was divided into four judged, each headed by a Judge. Judges were local representatives of the Byzantine Empire, which, around 1000, they realized self. The result a partition of the territory in the four kingdoms of Cagliari, Arborea, Torres and Gallura.
In this period the island reaches one of the highest points for as to its architecture, thanks to the following factors: the increasingly stable and rooted in the Republics of Pisa and Genoa, the establishment of monastic orders in Italy and France, and relations with Spain led to the circulation of new artistic trends in 'island that influenced the local architecture. The Romanesque churches of Sardinia are the result of the encounter between the culture of the islanders and Giudicati merchants, soldiers and preachers of Pisa and Genoa.
From the oldest remaining churches of San Saturnino Cagliari, and San Gavino in Porto Torres. Traces of artistic influences between the island and the mainland are in the Cathedral of Santa Maria to the United Ardara, the Basilica of San Simplicio in Olbia, in the Church of St. Nicholas in Ottana, in the Cathedral of St Just in Oristano and the Church of the Holy Trinity of Saccargia. Among the castles, the Castello district of Cagliari and the Castle of Doria Castelsardo.
The Basilica di San Saturnino Cagliari is one of the oldest Christian monuments in Sardinia. Dedicated to the patron saint of the city of Cagliari, has been built in the fifth century at the place where occurred the martyrdom of the saint. Structure of a Greek cross plan has received only the central part together with the dome and the eastern arm. The church was rebuilt in the Romanesque, and recently has been restored because of damage suffered as a result of the bombing of the Second World War
The Basilica of San Gavino in Porto Torres is the largest and oldest Romanesque churches of Sardinia. Built starting in 1030 by workers pisan calls by the King of Judge Torres and inaugurated in 1080, has the peculiarity of having the same map of the ancient basilicas of the Roman period, that is, opposing apses and the central entrance. Note the Romanesque doorway, dating from the second half of the century.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria to the United Ardara (SS), in the Pisan-Romanesque style with influences of Lombardy, was built in early 1100 on the orders of Judges of Torres. Impressive, the most sarda of Romanesque churches, is built entirely in black trachyte, and that is why Black Dome Ardara.
The Basilica of San Simplicio to Olbia (OT) is one of the most impressive and significant Romanico sardo. It was built in three phases between 'XI and XII century on the ruins of a Roman necropolis. The building, in Romanesque-Pisan Lombard, is made with blocks of gray granite. The church has a three naves separated by arches, and the facade is tripartite, in the center of the tympanum is a large three-mullioned window of the Islamic type, divided by columns, on the right ear drum there is a small bell gable added later. Note the significance is the span that left a dog and a man on horseback, similar to the decorations of the Lombard style. Presents the particularity of a band of brick that covers three sides of the building.
The Church of St. Nicholas to Ottana (NU), in the Pisan-Romanesque style, was built in early 1100 on a pre-existing Byzantine church, and is made of blocks of trachyte black and purple. Inside the church can admire the polyptych Mariano IV d'Arborea of 1344, which depicts St. Francis and St. Nicholas of Myra, and the lives of two saints.
Cathedral of St. Just (OR): It was built in about 1140, on behalf of the Judges of Arborea, from pisan workers, local, Lombard, and Arab. The interior has three naves, the central apse, separated by columns of marble and granite, some certainly coming from the nearby town of Punic and Roman Tharros and is covered by a roof truss. The facade of lombarda mark is crossed by vertical pilasters that end with a triple arch, the portal with lintel arch, the sides of which there are two lions carved in Arabic style, above the portal is a great three-mullioned window that gives light inside. In the presbytery there is a sanctuary crypt, where it is said, was a martyred saint. In this crypt during the work in the eighties, were found remains of nuragiche construction.
The Church of Santa Maria, on the outskirts of rural Uta is one of the finest examples of Pisan Romanesque in Sardinia. Do not know the precise date of construction of the church, which dates back to the mid-twelfth century by Tuscan craftsmen. The building, in limestone and sandstone with marble inserts and basalt, has scanned the prospectuses from corner pilasters and divided into mirrors pilasters, between which you have the triple arches ring in front, a double ring on the sides and apse in the prospectus. The arches are supported by decorative corbels bearing sculptural very varied and diverse, which include protomes anthropomorphic and zoomorphic. The facade, facing west and a bell tower topped by a sail, is divided into four frames. The lower level is in turn divided into three mirrors, the mirror housing the median main door lintel, surmounted by a round arch with wedges dichromate and the extrados highlighted by a finely carved frame with a ground weave. In the upper level opens a small mullioned window. The interior has three naves, separated by round arches supported by columns of the examination of the Roman period. The capitals are contemporary to the church, except that the third column on the left and the one that acts as water, both from the Roman era. The presbytery is raised by some steps. Under the altar there are two lions, which was originally placed on the sides of the facade. The presbytery was completed dall'abside semicircular oriented. The light enters the church through the two windows in the east and west prospectuses and single-arranged on the sides and in the.
The Church of the Holy Trinity of Saccargia, with its white and black mole, is the best example of Romanesque in the north of Sardinia. It was completed in 1116 on the ruins of a monastery by the will of the existing judge of Torres, and consecrated on October 5 of that year. Was entrusted to the monks Camaldolesi who founded the abbey. Following were performed by architects and craftsmen Pisans, extension works dating from 1108 to 1120. It 'one of the few churches that have preserved the medieval frescoes inside.
The Castle district, built largely by Pisani and Aragonesi, is the oldest of the four historic neighborhoods of the city of Cagliari. The neighborhood, surrounded by ramparts and protected by walls, the palaces of the aristocracy of enclosed and the cathedral. The old city walls are mostly intact, and include the Tower of San Pancrazio and the Tower dell'elefante, built with the typical stone lava white as the walls and other buildings in the neighborhood.
A Castelsardo, on top of the fortress are the remains of the Castle of Doria, built between the XII and XIV century, which left the walls and inside the fortress. Recently restored, the castle now houses the Museum dell'Intreccio Mediterranean where baskets are on display from all the Mediterranean countries, including those in fiber Plant dwarf palm woven by hand typical product industry Castelsardo.