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The Basilica of Our Lady of Luogosanto

The Basiiica of Our Lady of Luogosanto (fig. 1), with a dedication to the child Mary, is located at the centre of the town.

Fig. 1 - Basilica of Our Lady of Luogosanto (from

Its construction is tied up with the legend recorded in a letter from the Bishop of Ampurias and Civita in 1519: this narrated the discovery of the relics of the hermit Saints Nicola and Trano in the site where the place of worship dedicated to them was then built by two Franciscan friars in 1227. The two monks were inspired by the Virgin who charged them to build three churches: one dedicated to St. Trano which was erected on the cave-tomb, one in San Nicola near Lu Rotareddu, whilst the last one, entitled to Our Lady, would welcome the relics of the hermits under its main altar.

The latter was elevated to the dignity of Basilica by Pope Honorius III, who equipped it with the Holy Door which is opened on September 8 (the Nativity of Mary) for a whole year every seven years. A wooden statue of the Virgin was also found on the beach of Cannigione in Arzachena and taken to the church dedicated to her (fig. 2).

Fig. 2 - Basilica of Our Lady of Luogosanto: statue of the Virgin Mary (photo by F. Collu).

During the seventies the sculptor Luchetti carved a bronze door which contains three panels narrating the story of how the statue was miraculously found (fig. 3).

Fig. 3 - The Holy Door sculpted by L. Luchetti during the seventies (Photo by C. Cocco).

During the eighteenth century, it was rebuilt completely with three naves and a separate portico, in blocks of granite and in 1912 the navel was enlarged by incorporating new volumes.

Inside the Basilica there is a cycle of paintings representing scenes from the life of the Virgin (fig. 4) and of Jesus and Saints Nicola and Trano.

Fig. 4 - Basilica of Our Lady of Luogosanto, interior (from



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