Bajardo is a small town in the Sanremo inland, located 900 meters above the sea level, dominating the Nervia valley. From over there a splendid panorama can be admired: a beautiful look on the Ligurian and Maritime alps. Bajardo is about 86 km away from Loano and about 12 km from Apricale. The hamlet is rural in its appearance, with environmental and architectural features peculiar of the small ligurian villages: there are stones, narrow alleys and arches everywhere. But its special characteristic lays in the vibrating mystical ambience; therefore Bajardo was a sacred place of worship for druids, celtic priests, who actually built the village on God Apollo’s holy mountain. Stone obelisks are the best evidence of this ancient pagan cult, that has withstood the passage of time.
A bit of history
As we stated above, Bajardo was inhabitated by druids who conducted their pagan rites in that very place; in the III century B.C., Romans settled in the nearby territories and transformed the old druidic shrine in a fortress still visible nowadays. After the fall of the roman empire, several barbaric invasions followed, then the two dominions of the Byzantine and Longobardians and even pillages by the Saracen fleet.
Under the jurisdiction of the Ventimiglia municipality, Bajardo was heavely sieged by part of the Genoese army, so that it had to yield and submit, falling under the control of Genoa. Shortly after, the town passed back into the hands of the Ventimiglia counts, that formed an alliance with the Pisa Republic.
After a successfull marriage, the territories of Bajardo passed under the jurisdiction of the Marquisate of Ceva. The pressure of Genoa did not cease, and the territories were transferred again to the powerful Republic. In the following years the Bajardo community took part in the Superba (Genoa) ambitions, sending wood for shipbuilding, and even helping in war operations. The town was took over by Savoy troops for a short time, as they were driven away by the army of Sanremo, ally of the Genoese.
When the genoese Republic fell at the end of the XVIII century, Bajardo was incorporated in the canton of Castelfranco, part of the Ligurian Republic.
During the First French Empire, from 1805 to 1814, it was annexed to the canton of Perinaldo, in the Department of the Maritime alps.
In 1814, during the Vienna Congress, was issued its passage to the Reign of Sardinia dominion.
In 1861 after the Italian unification, the town of Bajardo took a place in the Sanremo district in the province of Nice.
What to see in Bajardo
Parish church of San Nicolò: its first establishment dates back to the roman times, later revisited in a gothic look and ultimately in a seventeenth-century style. The earthquake of 1887, unfortunately, destroyed the roof and caused heavy damage to the building. This tragedy, responsible of numerous casualties, howsoever allowed to bring back to light the old relics of the druidic temple on which the church was built upon, discovering columns and a celtic stele. Today, the church resembles a pagan shrine: an holy site open to the sky, blessed by the light rays.
From the square in front of the church a stunning panorama awaits you, with the south offering the Ligurian and French coasts and the Maritime alps in the north.
The new parish church of San Nicolò: built in 839 in neoromantic style, it treasures in its interiors the artwork “Madonna con bambino e santi Giovanni Battista e Pietro” by the painter Francesco De Verzate.