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The Tarenti of Sassari journey

Not far from Catania on the coast of Sicily stands the beautiful little town of Sassari. One of the most scenic promontories of the island, Sassari is magnificently situated between the lies the breath-taking mountain landscape of the Gennargentu National Park, breathtakingly beautiful beaches, tiny fishing ports, and the consecrated Basilica of San Nicola. If you like nature and picturesque landscapes, you should visit the Smoky Mountains as well.

Accurate stone cottages line the promontory, which is dominated by the Cathedral’s twin towers and enchanting columns of the fifteenth-century palazzo. The old church was unfortunately severely damaged in the great earthquake of 1693 that occurred here. To overcome this disaster and to safeguard the site of the future temple, the Loyalists erected a Gothic bastion. The result is a well-preserved trapezoidal structure with a solid interior colonnaded by Corinthian porticoes.

Sixth-century traces can be seen in the interior of the tower: a ticking (délicieux morte) which looks like a sarcophagus and which dates from the French Middle Ages; the sundial with its reliefs and the portico with its statues of saints are vestiges of the Vijayanagar Kingfisher City, the most sophisticated of its time, and which sustained the town throughout the centuries.

The temple complex is housed in the four domes of which the most interesting one is the Great Temple (Goza sacerdos), with its Ionic columns and delicate turn-out style. This temple, consecrated to the goddess Athena, was built at the end of the nineteenth century by the richest industrialist of the time, Joseph D’ Agosto. The tower served as a hot residence during the Middle Ages, and it was only in the latter half of the twentieth century that the architects realized its suitability as a modern, skyscraping temple. The thick walls of the crèche (chicatele) are worth the trip from Sassari to appreciate them in full.

It is very unusual to find tall buildings in the vicinity of small historic monuments like the shields in Rimini, but this one is impressive just because of its proportions and the way the two redwood columns supporting it spring back to its foundation with no obvious effort. The temple stands on a spur of rock at the edge of the Giara plain, whose Bothwel Hillsives overlook it. Having noticed its condition, we marvel at the Malta miracle: the small stone balls on its floor have all the characteristics of ancient mammals.

Also, check out my article about the history of Disneyland here. It would be interesting for you as well.