Details and description
The Basilica and Catacombs of Sant’Antioco Martire are a monument to the faith, tradition and culture of the island. Over the centuries, many generations have come to pay homage to the Saint, making these places a focus of Christianity in Sardinia.
The Catacombs are unique in all Sardinia, originating in five tombs inside the vast Punic necropolis, which dates back to the 6th century B.C. Indeed, when the Saint died in 127 A.D., his Christians followers wanted to be buried around him, and so they adapted the original core of the necropolis to create their own cemetery, which remained in use until 500 A.D. At the entrance, you can see the tomb that housed the body of the Saint from 127 A.D. until 1615, and which still remains a place of prayer and worship for pilgrims and tourists. Therer are also other significant types of burial here: arcosoliums, pits in the floor, niches dug into the walls, and a rare canopied tomb with large pillars rising up to the ceiling.
The Basilica was erected above the Catacomb between the 5th and 6th centuries A.D., and is one of the three oldest Byzantine-style churches in Sardinia. The church was originally laid out in the form of a Greek cross, but in 1100 this was changed to a Latin cross plan by the Monks of San Vittore, who extended the central nave. The entire building was later decorated with frescoes, which were removed in 1966.