AskDefine | Define sassari

User Contributed Dictionary


Proper noun

  1. A province of Sardinia, Italy.
  2. The capital of Sassari.




Proper noun

  1. Sassari (province)
  2. Sassari (town)


Proper noun

  1. Sassari (province)
  2. Sassari (town)

Extensive Definition

Sassari (in Italian and Sassarese, Tàthari in Sardinian), is a town in the province of Sassari in Sardinia, Italy. The second-largest town on the island in terms of population, Sassari is one of the most ancient Sardinian towns, and contains perhaps the best collection of Sardinian art.


Sassari was probably founded in the early Middle Ages by the inhabitants of the ancient Roman port of Turris Lybisonis (current Porto Torres, which till then had been the principal city on the island), who sought refuge in the mainland to escape the Saracen attacks from the sea. The oldest mention of a village called Tathari is in an 1113 document in the archive of the Monastery of St. Peter in Silki. Sassari was sacked by the Genoese in 1166. Immigration continued until, in the early 13th century, Sassari was the most populous city in the giudicato of Torres. After the assassination of the latter's last judge (1274), Sassari was subject to the Republic of Pisa with a semi-independent status.
In 1294 the Pisans were annihilated by the Genoese fleet at the Battle of Meloria, and the city could free itself: it became the first and only free commune of Sardinia, with statutes of its own, allied with Genoa, which was pleased to see it thus withdrawn from the control of the Pisans. Its statutes of 1316 are remarkable for the leniency of the penalties imposed when compared with the penal laws of the Middle Ages. From 1323 it was submitted to the Aragonese, under which it remained in the following centuries, but it revolted at least three times. Attempts of conquest by Genoa failed. In 1391 it was conquered by Brancaleone Doria and Marianus V of Arborea to the Giudicato of Arborea, of which it became the capital, but in 1420 it fell into the hands of the Aragonese. The Aragonese were replaced by the Spanish in 1479. In 1527 it was sacked by the French. During Catalan and then Spanish domination the city was known as Sàsser. The city suffered for the economical exploitment and the political corruption of its rulers and for two plagues in 1528 and 1652.
Austrian rule (1708-1717) was succeeded by Piedmontese (1720-1861), after which Sassari became part of the newly created Kingdom of Italy.

Main sights

Of the ancient walls that in the 13th century surrounded the city, only 6 towers remain today of the original 36 towers and 4 gates.
Other attractions include:
  • The church of Santa Maria di Bètlem (13th century), an example of early Gothic architecture in the island.
  • Palazzo D'Usini, one of the oldest houses in Sassari (now housing the main public library, therefore open to visits from the public).
  • The Fountain of the Rosello, built in 1606 by Genoese craftsmen. It is made by two squared parts surmounted by two crossing arches on which the statue of St. Gavins is placed
  • University Palace (1611-1651), originally a Jesuit school.
  • The Cathedral of St. Nicholas of Bari, built in the 13th century and enlarged in Catalan Gothic style from 1480; there is a monument to the Duke of Maurienne inside. The façade, belonging to the Baroque restorations of 1650-1723, has a rectangular portico surmounted by three niches housing statues of saints. The bell tower is in Romanesque style.
  • The Ducal Palace (current Town Hall, 1775-1806), built for the Duke of the Asinara in the 18th century.
  • The church of St. Peter in Silki, built in the 12th century but renovated in the 17th century.
  • The Church of the Most Blessed Trinity contains a beautiful picture by an unknown artist of the Quattrocento.
  • Other noteworthy buildings are the palace of the Duke of Vallombrosa, the Palace of Province, the Palace Giordano and a thirteenth-century wall.
  • The Orto Botanico dell'Università di Sassari is a new botanical garden now being constructed for the University of Sassari.


Sassari's university is the oldest in Sardinia (founded by the Jesuits in 1562), and has a high reputation, especially in jurisprudence studies; its libraries contain a number of ancient documents, among them the famous Carta de Logu (the constitution issued by Giudichessa Eleanor of Arborea), or the Condaghes, Sardinia's first legal codes and the first documents written in the Sardinian language (11th century).
The Sassarese diasystem (Sassaresu or Turritanu) is not very similar to sardinian language however, but is closest to corsican language; although this fact has been causing a deep controversy. It is based on a mixture of different languages, namely Corsican, Pisano and Genoan (due to long medieval contacts with the maritime republics of Pisa and Genoa in the age of Giudicati), but a strong Logudorese influence can be felt in its phonetics, syntax, and vocabulary. Sassarese is spoken in Sassari and in the neighbourhood, approximately by 120,000 people, in a total population of 175,000 inhabitants; large speaking communities are present also in Stintino, Sorso and Porto Torres; its transition varieties towards Gallurese, known as the castellanesi dialects, can be heard in Castelsardo, Tergu e Sedini)

Notable people

Sassari is also the birthplace of many famous Sardinians, among them the former president of the Italian Republic, Francesco Cossiga, his cousin Enrico Berlinguer, national secretary in the 1970s and leader of the most important Communist party in Western Europe, and their uncle Antonio Segni, another former president of the Italian Republic. The current Secretary of Defense, Arturo Parisi, and the Secretary of Internal Affairs of the former governament, Giuseppe Pisanu, are also from Sassari.

Sources and references



External links

sassari in Arabic: ساساري
sassari in Catalan: Sàsser
sassari in Czech: Sassari
sassari in Corsican: Sassari
sassari in German: Sassari
sassari in Spanish: Sassari
sassari in Esperanto: Sassari
sassari in Basque: Sassari
sassari in French: Sassari
sassari in Irish: Sassari
sassari in Indonesian: Sassari
sassari in Italian: Sassari
sassari in Hebrew: סאסארי
sassari in Latin: Sassaris
sassari in Lithuanian: Sasaris
sassari in Dutch: Sassari (stad)
sassari in Japanese: サッサリ
sassari in Neapolitan: Sassari
sassari in Norwegian: Sassari
sassari in Norwegian Nynorsk: Sassari
sassari in Occitan (post 1500): Sàsser
sassari in Piemontese: Sàssari
sassari in Polish: Sassari
sassari in Portuguese: Sassari
sassari in Romanian: Sassari
sassari in Russian: Сассари
sassari in Sardinian: Tàtari
sassari in Sicilian: Sàssari
sassari in Simple English: Sassari
sassari in Finnish: Sassari
sassari in Swedish: Sassari
sassari in Venetian: Sasari
sassari in Volapük: Sassari
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1