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Plan A Visit: Holy Wells & Sacred Springs 0 Comments

Plan A Visit: Holy Wells & Sacred Springs

In many cultures, water is regarded as holy and symbolizes purification. In animist cults, water is a sacred gift to be respected and honoured. In the Hindu tradition, the main holy places are often on the river banks, where they bath in their waters, for example, the Ganges (one of the seven sacred rivers) where all sins are believed to be washed away. For Buddhists, water is celebrated with a feast, the Water Festival. Water plays an important role in Judaism, where ritual washing reintegrates and purifies. Even in Shintoism the cult of kami always begins with being “purified” by water, better if under a waterfall. In Taoist philosophy, water is a model of human behaviour. Water, for Christian worship, purifies and saves, as in Baptism. For the Islamic culture, water has the value of purification. Muslims must be “ritual clean” before they can enter worship places.

In Sardinia, the nuragic Holy Wells (or Well Temples) are typical Sardinian underground structures designed, during the Bronze Age, probably introduced by The Shardana, Warriors Of Sardinia to worship water and safeguard water-springs, an indispensable and vital resource on every lifecycle. Devotion to water considers life, death, rebirth and purification: the child in the mother’s womb grows in water, plants grow with water; the death caused by floods and drowning; the rebirth after the floods and finally the purification to the fonts of wellbeing and comfort. Pater or Mater…visiting  them is a sort of diving into the mysterious, it is walking on those same paths already walked over by the marvellous and probably unique Nuragic civilization.

Sacred Springs and Holy Wells have no substantial difference as the building and religious concept was practically the same. The access was by stone stairs made of squared rocks. The oldest temples, using the same construction style of the Nuraghe with a dome roof (tholos), are examples of the great importance given to water by these ancestors. The cover, moreover, prevented the wind and rain from polluting the water and was delaying its evaporation. Without direct sunlight, algae growth was also avoided and freshwater was kept at a constant temperature. The Well Temples, built around the springs, were, as said above,   places of pilgrimage and ceremonies and their religious function was maintained until the introduction of Christianity that occurred during the Byzantine period.

Fascinating is some scholars’ theory according to which the sacred wells in Sardinia were built following an astronomical orientation. The moon in its maximum declination (every 18 and a half years) would exactly mirror itself in the well through the hole in the tholos. Even the sun would be reflected in some wells during the spring and autumn equinoxes and in others during the summer and winter solstices.

Temples and springs are significant proofs of religions to which the scarcity of water is subtended. Architectures that evoke together the art of which the nuragic civilization was capable of collecting and conserving, as in a casket, the precious liquid element for the fields, the livestock, the man himself. And the drought: ancient evil like the plague, famine and hunger “ says the archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu in his book ”Sardegna Nuragica“ (2006). 

Plan your visit to some amazing Holy Wells and Sacred Springs close to Golfo Aranci, max 2 hours by car from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites
CLICK on the name to get to each GOOGLE MAP POSITION.
HOLY WELLS OF:
  • MILIS - in Golfo Aranci2 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 10 minutes by walk

  • SA TESTA - in Olbia (OT) 13 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 18 min by car

  • PREDIO CANOPOLI - in Perfugas (SS) 87 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 25 min by car

  • ROMANZESU - Bitti (NU) - 91 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 30 min by car

  • SA LINNARTA O OSANA - Orosei - Sas Mancas (NU) - 98 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 30 min by car

  • IRRU - Nulvi (SS) - 110 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 50 min by car

  • MONTE SANT'ANTONIO - Siligo (SS) 113 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 30 min by car

  • SERRA NIEDDA - Sorso (SS) - 135 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 2 h by car

  • CHERCHIZZU - Silanus (Cherchizzu, Macomer NU) - 155 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 50 min by car

  • SA SCABA ‘E CRESIA  - Morgongiori (OR) 235 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites – 2 h 30 m by car
SACRED SPRINGS OF:
  • SOS NURATTOLOS - Alà dei Sardi (OT) 64 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 20 min by car

  • NIEDDA - Perfugas (SS) 93 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 33 min by car

  • FUNTANA E BAULE - Ittireddu (SS) - 103 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 22 min by car

  • SU LUMARZU - Bonorva (SS) - 122 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 40 min by car

  • SU TEMPIESU - Orune (NU) - 126 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 40 min by car

  • SA SEDDA 'E SOS CARROS - Oliena (NU) - 128 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 50 min by car

  • NODDULE - Orune (NU) - 129 Km Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 30 min by car

  • MUDEJU O ABBARGHENTE - Romana (SS) - 138 Km Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 52 min by car

  • UORE - Borore (NU) - 149 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 50 min by car

  • PUNTANARCU - Sedilo (OR) - 155 Km from Gabbiano Azzurro Hotel & Suites - 1 h 53 min by car

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Written by Daniela Toti

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