Picture by Clemensfranz
San Simplicio Church is one of the most important historical monuments in Gallura, in the North East of Sardinia. It was built between the end of XI and the beginning of the XII century on a burial ground. The church is thought to be founded on martyr’s tomb, now situated under the actual presbytery.
Contrary to usual Roman architecture, the church’s entrance is to the west instead of the east, where the sun rises. The exterior of the church is made up mainly of square granite blocks, whereas the upper half is built in bricks.
On the front of the church a large three mullioned window with three lights stands out. It is inserted in a large arch, divided by two marble columns. To the left there is a slab of marble, which is thought to represent Christ arriving on a donkey in Jerusalem.
The interior area is divided by pillars and columns, which support the beamed roof and the vaults of the side aisles. Two panels showing two bishops (San Simplicio and San Vittore) can be found in the apse. Under the altar there is a wooden reliquary bust of San Simplicio Benedictine.
Also a reliquary in limestone can be found in a shrine lying at the back of the church. A wooden box containing the presumed remain of church’s martyr Simplicio, was found in 1614 under the altar and is now on display in a niche in the altar steps.