The Holy Trinity of Saccargia is certainly the most famous and extraordinary among the medieval churches of the island.
Its tall bell tower stands out against the surrounding countryside when you come near the spot plunged into greenery but easily accessible from the main road.
Apart from the considerable dimensions, the importance of the church is due to the frescoes of the apse, among the few Romanesque frescoes remaining in Sardinia.
From 1112 the abbey is numbered among the properties of the Camaldolese order.
On the south of the building we can notice the few remains of the cloister and of the monastery, nowadays under excavation.
The church (21x7 m, about 14 m high) has a tau cross plan and the transept has three apses on the north – east.
The construction is in black basalt and white limestone, with a porch before the front.
On the south the bell tower and the sacristy, built on the ruins of the ancient monastery.
Maybe the name derives from “Sacraria”, the term quoted in some Latin documents, but we are intrigued by the etymology coming from the Sardinian “s’acca argia” (brindled cow).
The folk tale has it that a black and white cow every day left the pasture and the herd to go where now is the church, kneeling down as in prayer.
A short history:
Finished in 1116 after the vow of Lacon de Gunale and his wife Marcusa.
The enlargement and the very high bell tower were constructed between 1118 and 1120.
The portico is probably an addition due to workers coming from Lucca.
At the end of 12th century the apse was frescoed by an anonymous artist: this fresco, perfectly preserved, is the only example of Romanesque painting in island.
For more info :
Thank to our friend Francesca for the beautiful photographs