History is not necessarily something written.
Churches, houses, bridges, amphitheatres can tell their events as clear as a book…
For who have eyes to see
Eileen Power – British history (1889-1940).
Martis: a meaningful name that evokes the splendour of a past whose mark lingers everywhere. Is not difficult to image long lines of roman soldiers and imposing knights to pass through the territory and to start building encampments, cities and temples in honour of their Gods. Among these, was certainly, as tradition assures us, a temple, now gone, built on top of a hill and dedicated to Mars, the Roman god of war. According to a legend the country was built by survivors of a war between two neighbouring villages: Tathari, located on the Monte Franco, and the close one: Marte. Legend or fantasy, this territory was a backdrop to the passage and stay of numerous people since the Paleolithic era, as vouched by the various lithic finds and the presence of important historical and archaeological sites. From the prehistoric men's chipped stones to the towering Nuraghi constructions, of which there are about 12, through roman camps to the Catalan – Aragon domination until the Genovese influence. The town exhibits masterpieces of Catalan art and mysterious symbols set into architraves and doors, and few of them allude to the presence of Templar Knights, which meaning has not been uncovered yet.
Even symbols and messages are present inside the seven churches built in the town, notably the one dedicated to San Pantaleo in the 14th century, in Romanesque and Gothic style. It was abandoned at the beginning of the 1900 due to subsiding of the hill where the church stands, and today is on its way to restoration. On the inside it is possible to observe the structural complexity which alludes to is former beauty, while is almost disappeared the valuable rose window that embellished the façade.
The beauty altar piece about the Miracle of San Pantaleo, dated 1595, that once was in the great chapel of the church, is the work of Andrea Lusso, the most important Sardinian mannerist painter, and today is exhibited in the new parish church. In the territory, among the numerous rural churches ruins, of some interest is the Romanesque church of San Leonardo, dated back to the 12th century.
In a place of such importance, the Museum of popular culture speaks about the culture of the land and the vineyards, in a region once rich and fertile and a busy centre of communication.