Iglesias - Encyclopedia




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IGLESIAS, a town and episcopal see of Sardinia in the province of Cagliari, from which it is 34 m. W.N.W. by rail, 620 ft. above sea-level. Pop. (1901) 10,436 (town), 20,874 (commune). It is finely situated among the mountains in the S. W. portion of the island, and is chiefly important as the centre of a mining district; it has a government school for mining engineers. The minerals are conveyed by a small railway via Monteponi (with its large lead and zinc mine) to Portovesme (15 m. S.W. of Iglesias in the sheltered gulf of Carloforte), near Portoscuso, where they are shipped. The total amount of the minerals extracted in Sardinia in 1905 was 170,236 tons and their value 765,054 (chiefly consisting of 99,749 tons of calamine zinc, 26,051 of blende zinc, 24,798 tons of lead and 15,429 tons of lignite): the greater part of them-118,009 tons - was exported from Portoscuso by sea and most of the rest from Cagliari, the zinc going mainly to Antwerp, and in a less proportion to Bordeaux and Dunkirk, while the lead is sent to Pertusola near Spezia, to be smelted. At Portoscuso is also a tunny fishery.

The cathedral of Iglesias, built by the Pisans, has a good façade (restored) the interior is late Spanish Gothic. San Francesco is a fine Gothic church with a gallery over the entrance, while Sta Chiara and the church of the Capuchins (the former dating from 1285) show a transition between Romanesque and Gothic. The battlemented town walls are well preserved and picturesque; the castle, built in 1325, now contains a glass factory. The church of Nostra Signora del Buon Cammino above the town (1080 ft.) commands a fine view.

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