Su Pangulieri - Su Cantaru mannu

Paulilatino is one of the richest territories of Sardinia with monuments ranging from the nuragic period onwards.

The symbol of the inhabited center is certainly the fountain of Su Cantaru Mannu in Piazza Independenza, known by the people of Turin as Pangulieri .

Numerous are the nuraghi, the tombs of the giants, the domus de Janas, some of these monuments are also present inside the inhabited center. There are also finds from later periods.

The country is famous all over the world for the presence in the archaeological park of Santa Cristina of the sacred well, an example of the highest engineering of the nuragic period.

Characteristic is the historical center that can be defined, without a shadow of denial, a single monument, heritage of the community and guardian of the historical memory of the country.

The churches dating back to different periods and built with different styles allow us to admire many works of art, some of which are of very high value.

San Teodoro Martire parish church

Named after San Teodoro, the parish church of Paulilatino is located in the old town center, around which the current urban layout has developed over time.Patron of the Byzantine army, from which the cult was probably then spread throughout Sardinia, San Teodoro is also the patron saint of Paulilatino and is celebrated on November 9th. The exact date of construction of the church is not known, but falling Paulilatino under the administrative jurisdiction of the Camaldolese settled in Bonarcado, the construction of the original plant could be dated around the end of the XI century or at the beginning of the XII century, to work of master monks and local labor. The church dedicated to the martyr Teodoro has news since 1342, when the canon Giovanni Capra, Rector of the parish of Paule Latina, paid to the Bishop of Santa Giusta Lire XXV of alfonsini (Rationes Decimarum Sardiniae, n. 396). Of course, the original layout is no longer recognizable distorted by extensions, restorations and even recent additions. The parish church of San Teodoro is in Gothic-Aragonese style. The present building, however, has later structures, probably from the 16th century, according to the Sardinian-Catalan typology with capilla mayor (capella maggiore) turned into a ribbed and gem-shaped cross, side chapels, a trussed roof that was replaced between 1814 and 1816 with brick vaults. It has a Latin cross plan with three naves, a transept, a presbytery and a choir. The presbytery is raised above the aisles and its domed vault is enriched by a fresco representing Maria Assunta in the sky created in 1827 by Luigi Barberis. The choir construction dates back to 1400. The marble floor was made at the expense of the population on the initiative of the Rector Loi in 1879 (as emerges from the report for the pastoral visit of 1912).The church has two entrances: a main one disengaged by a three-way wooden compass and a lateral one that opens onto Via Roma, not far from the entrance to the church of San Giovanni. Also in the 16th century, the square-bell tower with raised corner pilasters and slender mirrors currently covered with plaster should be mentioned. The belfry has four pointed windows and ogival hanging arches mark the upper frame; the crowning is flat with a stone balustrade and trident battlements. The "onion-shaped" front fairing, covered with polychrome majolica tiles, has an 18th-century taste. The construction of the church had to continue throughout the sixteenth century, near the entrance, on the first column to the left of the central nave, the date MDLX [XV] 1560 and the initials C M. are engraved on a stone. the main engraving 1642 could indicate the date of construction of the same portal composed of two half-columns resting on high plinths that support a double serrated entablature and the triangular tympanum, decorated inside by an elegant relief with acanthus spirals and a curved niche with a valvifinal basin enclosed within a kiosk with a broken tympanum. The latter follows the Renaissance shrine of the Archivietto in the cathedral of Oristano, dated 1626, which served as a model for the portal itself. On the same axis a rosette inscribed within a quadrangular frame gives light to the main nave.

Church of Santa Maria Maddalena

The church of Santa Maria Maddalena, more familiarly known to the Paulesi simply as the church of Santa Maria, is located in the center of the town not far from the parish church. It is a church from the 1600s although it was probably built a long time ago. It was restored at the expense of the owners Francesco Carta Vidili was Pietro and Salvatore Stara Vacca in 1820. In its original state it was certainly smaller than the present, there was in fact an increase on the back, which led to the creation of the current sacristy where we find a niche where perhaps there was a fountain. This means that this part should have been built in 1800. The church consists of a single nave with a gabled roof originally made of wood. Later the wooden roof was transformed into a reinforced brick floor. This structure has imposed the presence of lateral buttresses. During the last restoration the only altar of the church (covered in marble) was dismantled and the original masonry altar composed of three niches was brought to light. It has a main entrance and two side entrances, one of which is no longer accessible from the outside but from an internal courtyard. At present it has been restored and the wooden roof has been redone. The floor is in terracotta. The small church of Santa Maria Maddalena closed all year opens its doors on July 22 for the feast of the Saint. The feast deeply felt by Paulians is preceded by novenas that end each day with the traditional song of the gosos.

Church of San Sebastiano

The seventeenth century church of San Sebastiano is the most recent of the churches of Paulilatino. Probably once a rural church was later incorporated into the village cemetery. It seems to have been built as a sign of devotion and thanks to the Saint after the great plague that struck the island in 1652-56 decimating the population of the town. There were also 27 deaths in Paulilatino in one day. The very simple Church has a rectangular layout and 2 entrances: a main one, placed right in front of the entrance to the cemetery, and a side entrance. It consists of a nave, at the bottom of which there is a masonry altar with three niches with the statue of Saint Sebastian in the center. On the sides of the altar, two entrances allow entry into the sacristy. Completely devoid of side windows, the church takes light from a rectangular window on the façade and in the back from a half-moon window in the sacristy. During the last restoration the floor was redone in terracotta and basalt stone. On the right side of the facade stands a small bell tower. Accessible all year round during the opening hours of the cemetery, mass is celebrated exclusively on the feast of Saint Sebastian on January 20 and in November for All Saints.

 Church of Madonna d'Itria

The church of Madonna d'Itria, sa Ìtiri for the paulesi, is perhaps the oldest in the country. The first written document is found in the marriage register where we read that January 15, 1516 "Inpera de Serra and Susanna Coco anta leadu blessing insa eclesia de Nostra Segnora". The original construction dates back to 1516 and has undergone various interventions, modifications and additions over time. The current layout dates back to the 1700s. The church has a rectangular plan with a nave divided into three bays with three altars: the high altar and two side altars, the left altar is dedicated to Our Lady of Itria (like the altar major) and to San Costantino emperor the one on the right. The original roof consisted of two sloping wooden pitches which were later replaced by a reinforced brick slab that required the immediate realization of the buttresses. During the restoration of the vault of the apse a fresco has been brought to light, the walls also show some residual frescos subsequently covered with plaster. The wooden roof was also restored during the last restoration. The west-facing facade (usual orientation of all the ancient Sardinian churches) is divided vertically into three compartments. In the middle one opens the rectangular portal and above it an ogival window with a red trachyte frame.The two symmetrical side compartments are connected to the central one with a curvilinear molding. The bell tower is joined to the façade on the left side and on the top there is a cross in red trachyte. Between the bell tower and the first buttress a square-shaped room opens with a small gate. The church beyond the main entrance has 2 side entrances, one facing north towards the inhabited area and the other towards the south facing the ancient swamp. The great devotion that the population of Paulilatino has for Nostra Signora d'Itria is documented as early as the second half of the 17th century with donations and continues today with the organization of celebrations by the faithful. The festival of Itria does not have a fixed date on the calendar but is celebrated on the Tuesday following Pentecost Sunday. On the evening of the vespers on the church square a large bonfire is lit in gratitude to the Virgin of Itria for the end of a pestilence, it seems the terrible seventeenth-century plague.

Church of St. John the Baptist (of the souls)

The Chiesetta delle Anime, also known as the Church of San Giovanni, is part of the same block as the parish church. The building probably dates back to the 16th century or the same period as the Church of San Teodoro. It can be accessed from both Via Roma, which overlooks the main entrance, and from the sacristy of the Church of San Teodoro, from which it is separated by a small courtyard.The church is built entirely of basaltic stone, with a gabled façade with two reinforcing sides, with a simple trachyte entrance door. Internally the church is composed of a single central nave with a gabled roof resting on round arches. Inside, currently plastered and painted, the exposed stone arches stand out. On the sides of the only existing altar, built in stone masonry, two doors connect the nave to the sacristy. The pavement originally made of basaltic stone, worked and polished, was replaced after the restoration by a terracotta floor. The roof is supported by a simple wooden truss. The procession of the Dead Christ arrives here on Good Friday evening and from here on Easter day, with the background of the bells ringing for the party, the confreres come out to accompany the statue of the Triumphant Christ for the traditional procession de s'Incontru with the Mother Mary. The church is generally closed and the doors reopen on June 23rd and 24th on the occasion of the feast of St. John the Baptist and in the days before for the celebration of the novena in honor of the saint which ends each evening with the intonation of the characteristic singing of the gosos to him dedicated. On the evening of June 23 at dusk, at the touch of the Ave Maria, the church is illuminated by the lighting of sos foghilones, small bonfires made with dried stems of beans and a cross of reeds adorned with flowers and fragrant herbs.

Church of Santa Cristina 

The small church, built in 1200, has a single nave, with two niches and a small bell tower on the left side of the facade. Probably, originally, it was built in Romanesque style but today, after various reconstructions, little remains of the original structure. The church, despite being a short distance from Paulilatino, belonged to the Camaldolese monks of Santa Maria di Bonarcado, from which it was founded around the 12th-13th century, and was part of the priory of Bonarcado. Among the inhabitants of the two countries, rivalry was created for the possession of the sanctuary. The dispute between Bonarcado and Paulilatino was resolved in 1914, when the transfer to the Parish of Paulilatino of the rural church took place. The oldest parts of the building can be found in the perimeter walls of the side and bottom walls, built with stones of various sizes cemented with fragments of tiles and ceramics. At the corners there are basalt blocks, perhaps coming from the well temple area. Around the church there are the muristenes, small dwellings consisting of one or two rooms and equipped with a courtyard in the rear part, used by devotees during the period of celebration of the novenas

The Historic Center

Safeguarding one's identity also means preserving the memory of habits, lifestyles, building techniques and all those details that have identified a community.

The territory of the Municipality of Paulilatino is among the richest in terms of the presence of prehistoric and historical artifacts, over two hundred, of very valuable value, some of these are located within the inhabited center, all on land owned by private and not state property , although subjected to archaeological and landscape restrictions.

Paulilatino has always been very sensitive to this aspect and can boast one of the most characteristic and preserved historical centers of the whole of Sardinia, which is admired not only by the numerous tourists but also by the MiBACT, by the superintendence of archaeological heritage and by numerous experts in the sector.

Through conservative restoration policies adopted even before the Protection Laws were promulgated, (The municipal urban plan foresaw protection regulations already in the 1990s and we are among the very few Municipalities that have reached the third renewal of the Detailed Plan for protection and enhancement of the Center of ancient and first forcing - Historical Center) and thanks to the use of targeted regional funds, it was possible to launch an important campaign to rearrange almost all the internal streets with paved or cobbled, restore wooden fixtures and walls in basaltic stone (material mainly used in the building of the past as the territory of Paulilatino, being an area adjacent to the extinct volcano of Montiferru, is very rich). Today, in addition to private homes, it is also possible to stay in some of the B & Bs in the historic center that offer guests views and sensations of the past

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