Tergu, Church of Nostra Signora di Tergu (Our Lady of Tergu)


Many of the island's Romanesque churches have intertwined their history with that of various monastic orders active in Sardinia in the Middle Ages, such as the church of Nostra Signora (also known simply as Santa Maria), annexed to the most important Benedictine monastery in Anglona, seat of the Cassinese priory.

This relationship is attested in the sources of 1122, where it is listed as a possession of the Cassinese monks, although the precise date of the donation is not ascertained.

An ancient document, called "Libellus Judicum Turritanorum", describes it as being founded by Mariano I de Làcon Gunale, Judge of Torres between 1065 and 1082.

In two inscription fragments we find news of work on the monastery in the second half of the 12th century: it is likely that the façade was rebuilt at this time. 

In the 15th century, the monastery was incorporated into the Archdiocese of Torres.

The creation of the entrance portal and part of the remaining structures of the monastic complex date back to this phase.

The structural and decorative analysis of the façade refers to Pisan models from the second half of the 12th century.

The plan of the church is in the form of a "commissa" cross, a probable later modification of an original single-nave hall with a north-eastern apse. To the north is a square-bore bell tower.

The covering of the transept arms is barrel-vaulted, although the opening to the hall is with an ogive arch.

The first order of the façade, of which the pediment is now lost, is based on large blind arcades.

The central arch contains an architraved portal surmounted by a drainage arch alternating volcanic and limestone ashlars.

The second order is marked by a four-lobed oculus.  

We now turn away from the church of Nostra Signora di Tergu, after greeting it with sincere respect.


V. Angius, voce "Sassari", in G. Casalis, Dizionario geografico storico-statistico-commerciale degli Stati di S.M. il re di Sardegna, XV, Torino, G. Maspero, 1849, pp. 321-322; 

D. Scano, Storia dell'arte in Sardegna dall'XI al XIV secolo, Cagliari-Sassari, Montorsi, 1907, pp. 194-200; 

R. Delogu, L'architettura del Medioevo in Sardegna, Roma, La Libreria dello Stato, 1953, pp. 157-160; 

M. Botteri, Guida alle chiese medievali della Sardegna, Sassari, Chiarella, 1978, pp. 155-157; 

R. Serra, La Sardegna, collana "Italia romanica", Milano, Jaca Book, 1989, pp. 420-422; 

R. Coroneo, Architettura romanica dalla metà del Mille al primo '300, collana "Storia dell'arte in Sardegna", Nuoro, Ilisso, 1993, sch. 34; 

G. Dore, Tergu (SS), S. Maria di Tergu, La decorazione architettonica, Milano, 1994; 

R. Coroneo-R. Serra, Sardegna preromanica e romanica, collana "Patrimonio artistico italiano", Milano, Jaca Book, 2004, pp. 280-282; 

R. Coroneo, Chiese romaniche della Sardegna. Itinerari turistico culturali, Cagliari, AV, 2005, pp. 31-32. 

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