The white facade overlooks a bright square, while infinite stairs descend from the hilltop nearly all the way to the sea at suSiccu, one of Cagliari's marinas. After centuries of rebuilding and renovations, Nostra Signora di Bonaria, along with the 14th century sanctuary to the left of the church, is today the island's Christian temple par excellence. Legend has it that in 1370, in the middle of a storm, a ship jettisoned her load. The storm calmed as soon as a large case was thrown overboard, before floating to the shore in front of Bonaria hill. Inside was a wooden statue of the Madonna with a child in her arms and a candle in her hand, which remained miraculously alight. The whole of Sardinia was soon worshipping the statue, which is now kept in the altar of the small sanctuary, an early Sardinian example of Gothic-Catalan architecture built by Alfonso d'Aragona (1324) during the Pisan siege and donated to the Mercedarians. The monks built their convent, still inhabited today, next to the church.