Monumental cemetery of Iglesias (Sardinia, Italy)

Monumental cemetery of Iglesias (Sardinia, Italy)
The Superintendence for architectural, landscape, historical, artistic and ethno-anthropological heritage of Cagliari and Oristano, has highlighted that the Monumental Cemetery of Iglesias is one of the most important in Sardinia.

About the cemetery

The Monumental Cemetery of Iglesias, inaugurated on August 20, 1835, was built near the Church of N.S. Valverde, outside the city walls. Turned out to be insufficient due to the progressive increase in the population, it was expanded several times starting from the year 1850 and soon, also thanks to the contribution of the most important artists of the time, it became a real sample of works of art, an open-air museum.

The monumental complex covers the area between Via Cappuccini and the area on Pardu. It consists of a rather large central body, surrounded by imposing walls and adorned with cypresses and Mediterranean plants. Very well cared off and often frequented by the population, linked to the memory of their loved ones, it is one of the most significant parts of the city.

Sculptures by Giuseppe Sartorio

The cemetery is famous, in particular, for the sculptures of Giuseppe Sartorio (1854-1922), a distinguished artist who owes his initial fame to the fact that he was commissioned by the Piedmontese managers of the Iglesian mines to erect some important statues in the city.

The skill of the Sartorio and his splendid creations immediately contributed to his fame, transforming him into one of the best known and most appreciated artists in all of Sardinia, where he set up two workshops, one in Cagliari and the other in Sassari. 

Girl with the hoop

In Iglesias, as well as in Cagliari, a large part of Sartorio`s statuary production is preserved. Among the works created for the wealthy Iglesian families, the most important, taken as a symbol of his artistic production, present in the cemetery of Iglesias monument of Zaira Deplano Pinna (1895-1901), known by all as “the girl with the hoop”.

The statue was sculpted in 1901 for the small Zaira, who died that year at the age of six following a severe meningitis. It remained in the cemetery until 2009, when an act of vandalism seriously damaged it, and it was immediately removed pending a restoration that began six years later. 

Some of the legends about the little girl say that at midnight the little girl comes down from the column to play with her hoop, running around the cemetery. Others argue that in the night of November 2, the girl appears on the roofs of the city`s historic center and ask the children if they want to play with her. The ones that agree are expected to die soon.


Via Cappuccini,
09016 Iglesias SU,

Phone: +39 0781 40817