Visit Iglesias - Church of the 'Purissima' or 'del Collegio'

Church of the 'Purissima' or 'del Collegio'

Church of the 'Purissima' or 'del Collegio'

Annexed to the college of Jesuits, who permanently settled in town in 1580, the edifice stands as the only instance of a church built in accordance with the architectural canons of the Counterth Reform.

Started at the end of the 17 century, the construction had a rather long development. The church was consecrated in 1728 on the occasion of archbishop Falletti's pastoral visit. When the Papal decree of 1774 abolished the Order of the Jesuits and they left the town forever, the building had not been finished yet. Then the municipality and the clergy, with the population's aid, th intervened in the mid-19 century to complete the decoration of the side chapels, as well as other works that gave the edifice its current appearance.

The sober façade is delineated by a double-inflected roofing. The portal is enframed by trachyte cornices; it is surmounted by a broken tympanum, showing the emblem of the Company of Jesus. On the lintel is also a coat of arms, perhaps referable to the Serra household. Vertically aligned with the entranceway is a quadrangular window with moulded jambs made of trachyte.

The bell tower is on the left of the façade, set back from it. Its present lines are the result th of restoration works of 1909-1913. In those years, indeed, the height of the 18 -century bell tower was increased to host a new public clock. The inside is marked by a wide hall covered by a round arch barrel vault and lunettes. At the intersection with the vault, the length of the nave is decorated by an indented jutting cornice, supported by Doric pilasters dividing it in four bays.

Six barrel-vaulted, scarcely deep chapels open along the hall (three on each side), spanned by large round arches supported by composite capitals. The paintings of the second and third chapel on the left, featuring the Nativity, the Annunciation, the Prayer in the Orchard, the Supper in Emmaus and the Apparition to Santa Margherita, were made between 1906 and 1908 by the painter Luigi Gambini and collaborators. The quadrangular-plan presbytery, whose width and height are lesser than those of the hall, is embellished by a sumptuous, polychrome marble altar, with spiral columns and complex fastigium. A simulacrum of the Immaculate was installed in the central niche in 1765