As Arab conquerors gained increasing dominion over Sardinia, the inhabitants moved inland and managed to wrest at least some autonomy from Byzantium. This was also a period of ascendancy in Sardinian art, culture and religion, as exemplified by the magnificent Romanesque churches built from the tenth century onward with their impressive paintings and stunning architecture. Here, Sardinia’s stone provided the “continental” strand in the island’s rich cultural and religious tapestry with an ideal medium for supreme artistic achievements.
It was in this way that some of the most significant sacred art of the Middle Ages came into being, including the incomparable facades of the twelfth century Romanesque Trinita de Saccargia church and the church of San Pietro in Sorres. In these jewels of European architecture, limestone and trachyte create a fascinating chiaroscuro whose amazing amalgamations of black and white stone emulate the patterns found in Tuscan architecture from the Pisa, Lucca and Pistoia regions. Sardinia is a veritable trove of sacred art and architecture, which means that wherever you go on the island, aesthetic delights of the highest order await discovery.
Unfortunately, Sardinia’s incredible flowering of religion, art and commerce did not translate into political stability. The Sardinians were constantly at war with one another and for centuries endured domination by the Spanish, Austrians and Savoyards until, in 1848, the island became part of Piedmont in the hope (which proved to be in vain) that the Italian Risorgimento (“resurgence”) would enable the downtrodden island to make a fresh start.
Routes of the history and culture of Sardinia. Discover Sardinia - we offer you the rental car that fits your needs!
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