the walking tour in Alghero : the cathedral

the walking tour in Alghero : the cathedral

[ Aug.2020 ] This is the final part of  our walking tour in Alghero, the town on the north western Sardinia in Italy.

The only place we went in to a building during the tour was the cathedral, La Cattedrale di Santa Maria.

Italy-Sardinia-Alghero-cathedral-bell tower-entrance-carvings
the carvings around the door of the bell tower

First, we looked up the bell tower from via Principe Umberto.

According to Sabrina, our guide, the bell tower and a part of the inside of the cathedral are the oldest, which were started being built in 1500s in the Catalonian gothic style.

The carvings on the door were the typical style of this type of architecture.

She said that the bell tower was open to the public and we could go up between 7 pm and 9 pm, so we decided to come back one day.

We did not go into the cathedral at that point, but walked around it and came to the front of the building.

the front of the cathedral

The facade was made in Neo Classical style, which was completely different from the bell tower, and you could not believe it was the same building.

The columns which looked like either Greek or Roman were the main features and they looked out of place.

This facade was completed in 1862, which means it took about 300 years to build this cathedral.

The reason why it took so long was that when they started building it, they used a lot of expensive materials such as marbles and silvers, so they ran out of the fund, Sabrina told us.

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the replica of Virgin of Monserrat

And inside, she pointed out that the nave was wide, but the length of the building was rather short and that was because originally they had planned to build a bigger church, but because of the shortage of money, they had to finish it suddenly, so the balance was not right.

The part behind the marble altar is the oldest.

In this cathedral, there is a coffin of a brother of the king of House of Savoy, because while he was in Sardinia, he suffered from Black Death and died here.

And there is a replica of Virgin of Monserrat, which was given by the Monserrat monastery in Catalonia in Spain.  

Apparently people queue to see the real Virgin of Monserrat in the Monserrat monastery, but here, nobody was there.

the marble altar

This virgin is black and there is a white virgin in the same style, too here.

After seeing around in the cathedral, we went out and walked down Piazza Civica and stopped at the place where the Gate of the Sea used to be and that was the end of the tour.

Sabrina asked us “Do you think visiting Sardinia is risky?” and my husband answered “No, not now. In the past it was infamous for the kidnapping, though”.

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the place it used to be the Sea Gate

Apparently around 1970s, the crime of kidnapping the children of wealthy families from all over Italy and hiding them in Sardinia was rampant and some students from my husband’s school were kidnapped, too.

The young Sabrina who asked the question, thinking about Corona Virus, was very surprised and said “That was a very long time ago, wasn’t it?”.

So the ending of the tour was a bit funny, but the tour itself was very good and informative anyway.