Stage 2

Basilica and Catacombs

The Basilica of S. Antioco Martire ( St. Antioco Martyr) and the Catacombs are the place where faith, devotion and culture meet each other. A place that tells the story of the Saint who came from the sea, Antioco, a doctor of bodies and souls, originally from Mauritania, who, with his relentless preaching, would have founded the first Christian community. Later, he would have become the main Sardinian Patron Saint.

Informazioni sul luogo

Luogo: Piazza Parrocchia, 22, 09017 Sant'Antioco SU

The Basilica of S. Antioco Martire is in the heart of the city’s historic centre and it’s built over the saint’s tomb. It is, probably, one of the oldest monuments of Byzantine origin in all of Sardinia. Erected around the fifth century B.C.  first bishopric of Sulcis Iglesiente, the Basilica is the centre piece of the celebrations in honor of Sardinia’s patron saint. The celebrations are hold three times during the year. In these moments the  devotion of the many faithful to Antioco is renewed.

Inside the Basilica, it is possible to visit the Catacombs, the only example in Sardinia, which represent one of the earliest vestiges of Christianity on the island.

After the Saint’s death in 127 AD, Christians, who wished to be buried around him, modified the original core of the catacomb to make their own cemetery, which was used until 500 AD. At the entrance, you can see the tomb that held the Saint’s body from his death until 1615, still a place of worship and prayer for pilgrims and tourists. In addition to the saint’s tomb, the catacombs contain many interesting features: arcosoli, pits on the floor, loculi carved into the walls, a rare canopied tomb, and even wall paintings such as that of the Good Shepherd or animal and floral depictions typical of Christian iconography.

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