The festival of the redeemer in Nuoro
For the great Jubilee of 1900, to celebrate the nineteen centuries of the christian fate, Pope Leo XIII asked to every italian region, to erect a statue of Christ the redeemer and place it on one of its peaks.
In Sardinia the city and diocese of Nuoro promoted a fundraiser that involved all the island, allowing the commission of a huge bronze statue of Christ resurrected (redentore, indeed), to the calabrian sculptor Vincenzo Jerace (1862 – 1947). The place chosen for the installation was Mount Ortobene, a granite hill that rises 955 meters above the sea and is located 4 kilometers from the town centre.
The sculpture, more than 4 meters of height and about 2 tons of weight, was the biggest and most beautiful between all those made around italy, it gained special appreciation even from cav. Augusto Grossi Gondi, the head of the Vatican committee involved in the celebration: "The most magnificent bronze statue of Christ the redeemer was built in Naples, a unique and inspired piece of art (...), once the great work was completed, the several pieces were shipped to the island, where they'll be carried on the top of a hill with hard work."
The installation was celebrated on August 26th 1901, with a huge feast that attracted thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the island.
To this day, the last sunday of August Nuoro commemorates that great event, organizing a folk festival which involves representations coming from all Sardinia, even though the most of them come from Barbagia.
The parade, opened by carabinieri horsemen in ceremonial uniform, is composed by walking groups and cavalries, for a total of several hundred participants, to remember that the statue belongs to all sardinians, because everyone contributed for it.
The day ends with a local folk festival, in which several kinds of traditional dances and songs can be enjoyed by the audience.
The religious celebrations instead occurs the evening of August 28th , they are opened by the chants of the vesper, followed by a torchlight procession through the streets of the town.The morning of the 29th , a two hours pilgrimage starts from Nuoro and reach the mount Ortobene, where the high mass is celebrated.