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Ploaghe

 


 

The village is located between the historical areas of Logudoro and Meilogu, in a landscape that includes mountains, plateaus, forests, hills, plains and extinct volcanoes that, with their eruptions, have in the past created enchanting natural walls that seem to encircle the territories of the village.

The settlement lies at the foot of Mount St Matthew, one of the last volcanoes to cease activity on the entire island. The place-name Plovake, is believed to be of Byzantine origin, while according to another creative explanation, the name would derive from the founder Plubio, or from the Phoenician word Palegh meaning division due to a gash in the ground from lava, located on a recent volcanic crater.

It arose in pre-Carthaginian times and was named Plubium by the Romans who ruled it. In the 5th century it was almost destroyed by barbarian invasions, but in the early Middle Ages it developed considerably and became part of the curatoria of Florinas and was erected as a diocese. In the mid-13th century, it passed into the hands of the Dorias, then the Malaspinas and later the Judges of Arborea. In the 14th century, it went through a period of decline and became a simple village.

 


 

THINGS TO SEE

The archaeological heritage consists of no less than 48 monuments dating back to the Recent Neolithic period, and includes 15 domus de janas, a dolmen and some traces of habitation-type settlements. The flourishing Nuragic civilisation is evidenced by two tombs of the giants: Fiorosu, located among the larger ones, and that of Polcalzos. The sacred spring of Frades Mereos is located on the outskirts of the village, on a small hill where traces of the now-destroyed nuraghe of the same name can be seen on the summit. There are several traces of huts and enclosures and the last census counts as many as 80 nuraghi. Some are complex-plan while others appear to be of the single-tower type. The complex-plan Funtana e Pedru is among the most beautiful and intact in the area, with a trilobate plan formed by three towers, two half-destroyed lateral ones and a central one. The Nuraghe Attentu, (wormwood) was the object of attention in the 19th century by Canon Spano, who carried out the first stratigraphic excavation in Sardinia, finding fragments of Roman crockery on the outside, at a depth of four metres. It is located in the area known as Iscala de Chessa and also has a complex plan.

In the town's central square there is, unique in Sardinia, the complex of three churches: the parish church of San Pietro Apostolo, which was the seat of the bishop and inside which one can admire a 17th-century wooden choir and a 14th-century panel painting, the Oratorio del Rosario, which houses the picture gallery donated to the town by Canon Giovanni Spano and containing important paintings ranging from the 17th to the 19th century, and the Oratorio di Santa Croce. The old cemetery is said to be the oldest and perhaps the most beautiful in Sardinia, according to La Marmora. Situated between the Oratorio del Rosario and the Church of San Pietro, inside there are epitaphs written in the Logudorese language that tell the story of each deceased person.

Surrounding the countryside of Ploaghe, the churches of San Sebastiano, Sant'Antonio Abate and San Antimo stand out solemnly and silently in the Romanesque architecture, as does the abbey of San Michele di Salvennor, built in the year 1100.

It once had a monastery nearby and a village not far away. Every year, a great feast was held, attracting numerous pilgrims from the Logudoro region, which apparently culminated in the opening of a holy door and those who passed through it obtained valuable indulgences.

During the year, there are several festivities and festivities, during the period of Ferragosto (mid-August) the suggestive essida of the two Candlesticks, respectively the flocks of the Massai who carry the simulacrum of the Infant Jesus and the flock of shepherds who carry that of St Peter. Unlike in Sassari and Nulvi, they parade on two occasions: on the day of Corpus Christi and then on 15 August, with relative octaves. A Ploaghese peculiarity that makes this festivity, dating back to 1580, unique is the Candlestick of St Peter, which leads the procession for eleven of the twelve 'stops', until the moment when, before the twelfth, it gives way to the Candlestick of the Infant Jesus, which enters the church first.

Also during the August bank holiday, the Sagra della Pecora (Sheep Festival) is a great moment of culture and aggregation, with numerous folklore groups and stalls selling local food and wine products such as fine cheeses with special flavours.

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