Discover Romanesque: Peoples and Legends

Legend of the foundation of San Gavino, Porto Torres

 The foundation of San Gavino basilica in Porto Torres is associated to a number of legends, linked in the first place to the martyr’s life and, secondly, to the circumstances related to the time when the church had been actually built. It is said that, after their martyrdom, Gavinus and his companions Protus and Januarius were buried in a locality called Balai vicino. Today, a church called ‘San Gavino a mare’ is dedicated to the saint, right in the place where the Giudice Comita, sovereign of the Kingdom of Torres, had apparently found the martyrs’ bodies. Suffering from leprosy, in his dreams the king had a vision of Gavinus, who indicated him the road to recovery: should Comita found the martyr and his mates’ bodies to give them a worthy burial, he would be healed. According to the legend, the king found the bodies in the hypogeum of Balai vicino and took the sacred remains to the recently built, imposing basilica in the area of Monte Agellu. Another legend has it that Gavinus had been decapitated and his body thrown into the sea, along with Protus and Januarius’s, in the locality Balai lontano, where a church would later be built to be dedicated to Saint Gavinus decollated.



The time of Romanesque