Alghero

Mettiti comodo, Il tuo viaggio verso la Riviera del Corallo inizia ora.

Alghero

Mettiti comodo, Il tuo viaggio verso la Riviera del Corallo inizia ora.

The Churches

Enraptured by the extraordinary peace to be savoured within the city walls, you may then decide to pass through the heart of Alghero, stopping off to marvel at its ancient churches.

 

With the arrival of the Catalans, the impregnable Doria fortress – until then characterised by a strictly military form of architecture – was embellished by the exemplary work of the picapedrers, the master stone masons of the Spanish Crown, who gradually remodelled the city.

 

Walking along Via Carlo Alberto until you reach Piazza del Duomo, Alghero provides you with a trail that seems to have been especially designed to allow you to discover the architectural elements of these extraordinary churches, which encapsulate the city’s ancient, all-encompassing religious traditions.

San Michele

The first church that you come to if you start from Piazza Sulis is dedicated to Alghero’s patron saint, Saint Miguel (Saint Michael).

 

You’ll have no trouble recognising the Church of San Michele, since it features another oft-used symbol of the city – the multi-coloured 17th-century cupola with its ever-changing majolica, which stands out strongly against the cityscape.

 

Built in 1612, the complex retains traces of the educational apostolate of the order of the Jesuits.

 

Chiesa della Misericordia

Built in 1662 by the Confraternity of the Misericordia, this church was badly damaged by the bombing raids of May 1943.

 

The church plays a fundamental role in the city’s worship. Inside, it houses a wooden simulacrum of Sant Cristus that reached Alghero in the 17th century on a Spanish vessel that was shipwrecked in the bay of Porto Conte.

 

The wooden Christ, a sacred symbol of Holy Week, is the most authentic image of the mysteries relating to the cult of the Passion.

 

San Francesco

Continuing along the main street, Via Carlo Alberto, you will come to one of the city’s most evocative churches, dedicated to Saint Francis.

 

Erected along with its monastery at the end of the 15th century, it is one of the most ancient churches in Alghero. Moreover, it is among the most important late-Gothic buildings on the island of Sardinia.

 

The oldest phase of the building includes the rectangular-plan cloister, the characteristic star vault of the presbytery, and the bell tower, which is surmounted by an unmistakable notched pinnacle.

 

The church, situated in the heart of the old town on Via Carlo Alberto, attracts numerous (religious and non-religious) visitors thanks to the beauty of the building and to the traditional liturgy held in Catalan on Sundays. Built in 1612, the complex retains a trace of the educational apostolate of the order of the Jesuits.

Il Duomo (Cathedral)

Santa Maria, the city cathedral, is an architectural hybrid: the Neoclassical elevation you will see from Piazza del Duomo, which lies to the front of the building, conceals the original Gothic plan, which can be seen from the rear (on Via Principe Umberto). Internally, the Duomo is divided into three naves, laterally interrupted by small chapels embellished by notable works of art and solemn Neoclassical altars.

 

The tall Catalan-Gothic bell tower, crowned by a spectacular spire, is the symbol of the ancient city and affords an extraordinary panoramic view. Near to the Duomo, you can visit the Church of the Madonna del Rosario, which continues to house the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art.

 

Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Vall Vert

Moving slightly out of the centre, you can visit the Sanctuary of Vall Vert, one of the most important places in the religious life of Sardinia.

 

The sanctuary, which is located 7km from Alghero, nestling in the heart of a peaceful valley, is dedicated to the Black Virgin and has for centuries been the object of veneration on the part of the Algherese and a favourite destination of pilgrims from across the island.

 

Inside, the sanctuary plays host to the statue of the Virgin, who is traditionally said to have escaped the Saracen raids, as well as numerous ex-voto votive tables that are considered artistically important by ethnographers.