Oristano and the streets of worship

The highest number of religious building in the city of Oristano can be found by following the itinerary of one of the most important arteries of the medieval city, one that saw the biggest concentration of both religious power, and crucial economical might, the latter being represented by shop owners and by the market.

Starting from the Church of San Mauro Abate in the Giudicale city’s western extremity, matching one of the very few fragments of the ancient defensive city walls, you may visit several important ecclesiastical monuments along this cultural journey. An example of this can be found when passing through the street known for being the theatre of the Sartiglia’s very own Star Joust during Carnival, the Church and Convent of the Franciscan, the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral, and the Archbishop’s Palace.

The itinerary consists in a visit to the Church of San Mauro Abate from the 16th century, to the Church and Hospital of Sant’Antonio Abate from the 14th century, to the Church and Monastery of San Francesco built between the 13th and 19th centuries, to the Trinity Church of the seventeenth century, the Tridentine Seminary dating back to the turn of centuries XVIII-X, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, with its long history that began between the centuries XIV-XVII, the Archbishop’s Palace from the XII century, the Church of the Beata Vergine Immacolata built in the 17th century, and the Church of San Martino dated, 13th century.


Church of San Mauro Abate

📍 Via Sant’Antonio

The church of San Mauro Abate stands near the western side of the medieval walls, at the end of its homonymous street. In ancient times, it used to house the chapel of the gremio dei Calzolai and the Confraternita della Pietà. During its latest restoration work, archaeologists have identified the apse of the ancient Byzantine church, while the current church is dated between the 16th-17th centuries.


Hospitalis Sancti Antoni

📍 Via Cagliari, 161

Even today, there is no certain information about the origin of the Oristano hospital and leprosarium, although this important institution was already present in all its interest already in the fourteenth century.


Church and Monastery of San Francesco

📍 Via Duomo, 10

The convent of San Francesco, mentioned in the will of Giudice of Arborea Ugone II of 1335, witnessed important historical moments in the political and religious life of the Giudicato of Arborea. In fact, the highest authorities of the Arborean kingdom used to meet in the refectory of friars, and in that same hall, a peace treaty was signed in 1388 between Eleonora and the Catalan-Aragonese king. The church features a particular location for its famous crucifix, known as the Nicodemus. The crucifix is a polychrome sculpture, believed to be of mainly Valencian school and certainly of Rhenish inspiration. It is dated 1300.


Church of the Santissima Trinità

📍 Via Duomo 

Early documents concerning the church of the Santissima Trinità date back to 1600. Located in front of the Cathedral, the current building still has its neoclassical taste, despite many profound renovations implemented in early twentieth century. A small bell gable closes the facade at the top right corner. It was the seat of the Marian Congregation of workers and of some Gremi, including the iron workers, who had Saint Eligius as their patron.


Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

📍 Piazza Duomo 

An example of a suburban Cathedral, built on a pre-existing Byzantine church dedicated to the Archangel Michael, the Duomo della Vergine Assunta now presents part of the annexed funerary area of the ancient church. The first document certifying the existence of the church dedicated to Santa Maria is dated February 20th, 1192. The current Duomo, built within the church according to the customs of elegant Piedmont Baroque in the years 1729-1745, houses the chapel with the relics of Sant’Archelaus, patron of the city and of the diocese.


The Archbishop's Palace

📍 Via Duomo

The Archbishop’s Palace, attested as early as from the mid-twelfth century, is located in the area adjacent to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. It is likely that today’s building was built in the same area as the Judicial one, perhaps having been rebuilt at the end of the 13th century or even built from scratch, as evidenced by some documents from the years 1282 and 1299. the building was increased in size, orchards and gardens thanks to the work of the archbishops, between the 17th and 18th centuries.


Church of San Martino

📍 Piazza San Martino, 8

The church is of medieval origin, as indicated by the Giudicati coats of arms, with its poles of Aragon flanked by the uprooted Arborea tree carved in a capital. In 1410, this sacred building received the drafting of the Treaty of Peace of San Martino, which decreed the de facto end of the Giudicato of Arborea. Until the first half of 1500, it was inhabited by Benedictine nuns, after which it became a Dominican convent, and in 1832, it was occupied by the order of the Hospitallers, which after leaving the old city hospital of Sant’Antonio Abate, gave the new structure the name of Ospedale di San Martino. Part of the facility is currently occupied by health care services.



Church of the Beata Vergine Immacolata

📍 Viale San Martino

The convent and the church, officiated by the Capuchin Fathers, were built in the first decade of the 17th century just outside the city walls, thanks to the munificence of fellow noble Oristanese Domenico Paderi. The church building has a single nave, with a double pitched roof and a series of side chapels. The church preserves a silver chalice from 1609 and a painting from 1626, representing the Franciscan family tree, depicting St. Francis at the foot of a majestic oak.


Chiesa del Sacro Cuore

📍 Piazza Sacro Cuore, 11

The Church of the Sacred Heart was canonically erected in 1955 and built between 1957 and 1959, based on a project by Eng. Marco Piloni, who was particularly active in those years in the cities of Cagliari, Foggia and Rome. The parish church has a rectangular plan, small aisles and polychrome windows. The main altar is enriched by an altarpiece by Antonio Mura (1902-1972), engraver and Catholic painter. The exterior is in basalt stone. Recesses and protrusions give the structure the illusion of movement, reaching all the way up to some sort of polygonal dome.


Convent and chapel of the Sacramentine Nuns

📍 Via Vinea Regum, 28

In Via Vinea Regum, next to the modern building of the Monastery of the Perpetual Adorers of the SS. Sacramento (Sisters Sacramentine), stands a chapel characterized by a singular veil roof in reinforced concrete. The church was built in 1977 based on a project by Ligurian architect Erminia Bòttari. To be noted are the contemporary glazed terracotta clays by Ezildo Sitzia. The monastery was opened by a Sardinian nun, Maria Modestina Diana, who in 1963, left the Cagliari cloister in via San Saturnino along with eight sisters in order to open, in Oristano, a house of the Sacramentine, the religious congregation founded in 1807 in Rome by Sister Maria Maddalena dell’Incarnazione.