Tucked away in the rolling countryside of northern Sardinia, the Church of the Holy Trinity (Basilica della Santissima Trinità di Saccargia) is a prime example of Pisane Romanesque architecture. Though the black-and-white basilica dates back to the early 12th century, the site upon which it was built was home to religious institutions for far longer, and the ruins of an ancient monastery can still be found on the grounds.
At the time the basilica was erected, the Italian island was divided into four kingdoms known as the Judicatures, or Giudicati. Judge Constantine of Torres and his wife had allegedly visited the monastery of the Camaldolese order, asking to be blessed with a child. After his wife gave birth, the judge ordered the construction of the church—a gift to the monks. Built on the ruins of an old monastery, the Church of the Holy Trinity was completed in 1116 and was entrusted to the Camaldolese order. Since then, it’s been abandoned, reopened, and has undergone several significant renovations, such as the addition of the bell tower.
The facade is made entirely of local stone, with alternating layers of black basalt and white limestone lending the structure its black-and-white stripes. Inside the church, elaborate frescoes cover the walls, among the few remaining examples of Romanesque frescoes on the island.
Know Before You Go
The church is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April through September; from October to the end of March, you'll have to make a reservation. Admission is 3 euros.