The thermal complex and the church

The thermal complex and the church

 A few kilometers from the historic center of Sardara, lies a place called “Santa Maria de is Acquas” that means “Saint Mary of the Holy Water”.

Thanks to the presence of five thermal sources, which have always attracted people, this location has always been popular, and it was also a place of worship, since the Nuragic period. In the Roman period, after 200 BC approximately, these sources were called “Aquae Neapolitanae” and were a very important thermal complex and a temple to celebrate the cult of water, of which only some scattered ruins remain.

Today there is a church dedicated to “Santa Maria de is Acquas” of which there is no precise information.

It was modified and restored several times but the original building dates back from 10th-11th century about and stands on the ruins of an edifice of worship of the first centuries of the Christian era.

 In September, one of the oldest and most important religious festivals of the territory, dedicated to Our Lady, takes place here.

It gathers thousands of pilgrims from all over the Island, but this Christian medieval festival has far more distant roots, which have origin in the Nuragic cult of the waters, previous even to the pagan cult of the Roman era.

The festivities begin on the penultimate Monday of September, last four days and are combined with religious ceremonies, folk groups, young riders performances, music and food and wine tastings. But in this area other annual festivals are also celebrated: in May, the festival of the sheep, in September, the festival of the wheat, and in December the one of the wine: unmissable events for gastronomy enthusiasts.