Among a group of islets, tongues of land, bridges and roads at sea level, the menhirs of Sant’Antioco, nicknamed “Su Para e Sa Mongia,” “The Priest and the Nun,” stand out in all their pride. For more than five thousand years, the two thick stones, because of their position,have guarded the access to the island of Sant’Antioco.
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During prehistoric times, the menhirs were used as places of prayer and worship and could reach, and sometimes exceed, twenty meters in height. They are also known as perdas fittas (stuck stones) and symbolize regeneration.
In the area, which resembles a vast plain, probably the site of a village datable to the Ozieri culture (between 3200 and 2800 B.C.), the two monolithic megaliths are clearly visible, even from far away, because of their considerable size. Su Para, with faces facing southwest and northwest, is three meters high, a conical diameter, with hollows and protuberances that recall male features. Sa Mongia is two meters high and has a protuberance and several cups typical of the female figure but is facing southeast and northeast as if the two lovers could look into each other’s eyes but not be close enough to touch.
The features and position of the two blocks thus ensured that the two figures were elected to symbolize eternal and unbreakable love despite adversity.
The legend of the friar and the nun, however, has no historical evidence and it is linked to the narratives of popular oral tradition due mainly to the need to understand the presence of those particular prehistoric evidence.
In fact, menhirs have always enjoyed such a certain aura of mystery and fascination that they have created magical legends like this one.