Independence Square

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Independence Square

Independence Square is in the centre of the village, among the old nineteenth-century buildings, the parish hall, Via Orientale Sarda and the square of the bell tower of the church of St. Nicholas.

The square has recently been re-paved as part of the redevelopment of the historic centre that led to the unification, on the same level, of Independence Square, the churchyard and the square of the bell tower. The project also involved the streets of the historic centre, which were paved with “cobblestones”, both in the districts leading to Via Orientale Sarda (Via San Nicolò, in particular) and those leading from it (almost all Via Roma, which at one time had been the main street in the village). In the past, the centre of the square featured a “Monument to the Fallen”, which has now been relocated to a small tree-lined square in front of the churchyard. Up until the fifties, Independence Square was also overlooked by the “Chiesa del Rosario”, which subsequently had its façade and roof modified and was then converted into a parish hall. Independence Square leads to the churchyard through a decorated white porch that is detached from the main building and acts as a false facade, enriched by lateral pilasters (embossed vertical strips) topped by a triangular pediment on top of which stands a statue of Christ.

A few metres from the false facade stands the tall, square bell tower, leaning against the outside walls of the sacristy, with a classic Roman numerals clock above one of the lancet windows of the belfry. The clock was added to the bell tower in 1858 (when Don Emanuele Lai was the parish priest, rector of Baunei from 1855 to 1909) by a watchmaker from Baunei named Sebastiano Duccu, as evidenced by the Latin inscription above the entrance to the bell tower: “Horologium istud artifex Sebastianus Duccu Bauneensis fecit Rectoris Emanuelis Lai ac bauneensis populi cura anno cristiano MDCCCLVIII”; (“The Baunesis craftsman Sebastiano Duccu built this clock, with the involvement of the rector Emanuele Lai and the people of Baunei, in the year 1858”).

During the renovation works on the square, the ancient stone pavement at the men’s entrance was found just a few metres from the bell tower. A few rooms of the nineteenth-century building overlooking the piazza have been home to the “Sa Dommu Eccia” ethnographic museum for many years, located between the ground floor and the first floor of the building.