Neoclassical forms in the heart of Oristano

Piazza Eleonora - Oristano

Neoclassical forms in the heart of Oristano

A short walk in the ‘city of Eleanor of Arborea’, around the square named after her, among examples of elegant civil and religious architecture inspired by 19th-century Neoclassicism
tympanums, columns and capitals in palaces and churches in Oristano

The ‘mark’ of Gaetano Cima, one of the most famous nineteenth-century Sardinian architects, is strongly impressed in the ‘attire’ that Oristano used in one of its most iconic city spaces, Piazza Eleonora, and in the surrounding streets. The city’s ‘salon’, famous for the Sartiglia, an equestrian tournament, for its noble judicial past and for Vernaccia wine, is characterised by buildings in which friezes and elements stand out, reminding us of the classical world. There are two important places of worship nearby: the church of San Francesco and the Cathedral, the ‘mother church’ of the Archdiocese of Arborea, which also display elements of the same architectural style.

Road journey time: The various places to visit are just 5 minutes away on foot

Palazzo Corrias Carta

The walk starts on the eastern side of Piazza Eleonora, where you can admire the building that catches the eye the most, thanks to its bright colours. The building, commissioned by Giuseppe Corrias around the middle of the 19th century, was designed by Gaetano Cima and fits perfectly into the urban context. The circular element that joins the two buildings particularly stands out, while inside you can admire the original frescoes and classic furnishings from the late 19th - early 20th century.
Piazza Eleonora d'Arborea - Oristano
Palazzo Corrias Carta
One of the greatest expressions of nineteenth century civil architecture in Sardinia is located in the old town centre of Oristano, in the central...

Palazzo degli Scolopi

In the same square, on the opposite side of Corso Umberto I, stands a building with a long history: originally a Jesuit convent it then became an institute managed by the Piarists. Later on it became the Regio Ginnasio and it is now the town hall. The complex includes the adjacent former church of San Vincenzo: both were renovated in neoclassical style in the first half of the 19th century. In addition to the decorative elements of the façade, there are statues by Fra’ Antonio Cano and paintings by Antonio Benini inside.
Piazza Eleonora d'Arborea - Oristano
Palazzo degli scolopi
A long history and various different functions accompany a historical building, enriched by neoclassical forms, located in Oristano, in the central...

Chiesa di San Francesco

A hundred metres to the west, you’ll see a building that, at first glance, is similar to a Greek temple. In fact, there is a pronaos with a tympanum above it, as well as Doric columns and capitals. Not surprisingly, it was designed by Cima. In reality, it is a church officiated by the Franciscans - who resided in the adjacent convent - and dedicated to the ‘Poor man of God’. The layout is central, with two side chapels and a deep apse. Inside, there is a wooden masterpiece: the Crucifix of Nicodemus.
Chiesa di san Francesco - Oristano
San Francesco - Oristano
Amongst the religious buildings of Oristano, in the central-western part of Sardinia, is one of the greatest classicist examples on the island and...

Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta

Just over a hundred metres away, this time in a southerly direction, you will come to the most important sanctuary in the Oristano area, as well as the largest cathedral in Sardinia. The Cathedral of Oristano is actually a mixture of architectural styles, starting from the Romanesque structure, of which very few traces remain. There are, however, evident traces of its neoclassical style: the two ‘large chapels’ at the ends of the transepts, dedicated to San Luigi Gonzaga and San Giovanni Nepomuceno, with works by Andrea Galassi.
Duomo di Oristano, interno
Santa Maria Assunta - Duomo di Oristano
The largest cathedral in Sardinia, which presides over the Archdiocese of Arborea, is known as the Cathedral of Oristano, the main building of the...

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