Cattedrale di Santa Maria
Antico Palazzo di Città
Housed in what was Cagliari's town hall from medieval times to the 19th century, the beautifully restored Antico Palazzo di Città has...
Just steps from the cathedral is this pale lime palazzo, once home to the Spanish and Savoy viceroys. Today it serves as the provincial...
Museo del Duomo
Further cathedral treasures are displayed at this compact museum. One standout is the Trittico di Clemente VII, which was moved here...
Near the fourth bus stop, and one of the most popular of the seafront chioschi, this swank place is a bit of everything. Part cocktail...
Piazza Palazzo 4 · interesting places nearby
Cattedrale di Santa Maria information
Cagliari’s graceful 13th-century cathedral stands proud on Piazza Palazzo. Except for the square-based bell tower, little remains of the original Gothic structure: the clean Pisan-Romanesque facade is a 20th-century imitation, added between 1933 and 1938. Inside, the once-Gothic church disappears beneath a rich icing of baroque decor, the result of a radical late 17th-century makeover. Bright frescoes adorn the ceilings, and the three chapels on either side of the aisles spill over exuberantly with sculptural whirls.
The third chapel to the right, the Cappella di San Michele, is perhaps the pinnacle of the baroque genre. A serene St Michael, who appears (in baroque fashion) to be in the eye of a swirling storm, casts devils into hell.
At the central door, note the two stone pulpits, sculpted by Guglielmo da Pisa between 1158 and 1162. They originally formed a single unit, which stood in Pisa’s Duomo until the Pisans donated it to Cagliari in 1312. It was subsequently split into two by the meddlesome Domenico Spotorno, the architect behind the 17th-century baroque facelift, and the big stone lions that formed its base were removed to the altar where they now stand.
On the other side of the altar is the entrance to the Aula Capitolare, the crypt where many Savoy tombs are conserved. Carved out of rock, the barrel-vaulted chamber is an impressive sight with its mass of sculptural decoration and intricate carvings.