Nuraghi of Sardinia

Sardinia is famous in Europe and the world for its many enchanting beaches, there is indeed no need to go to the Caribbean or in the atolls of the Indian Ocean or in the Pacific to swim in pristine waters with absolute transparency, so amazing that you have to rub your eyes to make sure you are not still dreaming. And which of you has already been in Sardinia knows that we are not exaggerating. But if you came to Sardinia you also noticed the presence – along the coast and the countryside, in the hills and woods – of high strange cylindrical buildings , they are everywhere and they are called Nuraghi.

It is estimated they were about 10,000 and they remained around 7000 in various states of preservation: from the larger ones – also authentic castles with 20 towers – to those mono tower, from the ruined ones to those almost perfect, sometimes surrounded by villages, sometimes close to other ancient monuments such as the tombs of the giants. The size it’s simpressive even if none of them is intact, in some specimens the central tower reaches a height between 25 and 30 meters, with several floors. But, above all, they were built with gigantic boulders.

Su Nuraxi, heritage of Humanity and other major nuraghi:

Among the nuraghi, symbol of our island, we can not forget about Nuraxi of Barumini, in the Middle Campidano (southern island), which laied submerged by sediments and for long time seemed just a hill. The site is among the best preserved and has become “Heritage of Humanity” protected by Unesco, with its large central tower (three rooms, one over the others, residual height of 18.60 m.), other four towers joined together by a curtain wall and a further and subsequent curtain wall with 7 towers.

But I could also tell you about the Santu Antine Nuraghe in the northwest of the island, with a central tower (residual height of 17.5 meters) and a further wall with 3 towers, plus two wells, one in the pavement of a cell, the other in the courtyard and beautiful interior hallways. The nuraghi had, in fact, a dense network of passages and stairways contained in the massive walls.

How not to mention the Nuraghe Arrubiu (means red nuraghe for lichens growing on it), a nuragic complex in the territory of Orroli, in the province of Cagliari, famous for being the largest and most complex nuraghe of Sardinia, and for being included among the largest prehistoric monuments of all the Europe . It is the only nuraghe in Sardinia with more than 20 towers: it consists of a central tower surrounded by other five towers, around which there is an outer wall with a further 7 towers, that make up another defensive walls. Then a second outer wall with 5 towers and a third one, with 3 other towers. Total: 21 towers on an area larger than 5000 m².

reconstruction-nuraghe-arrubiu-orroli

Virtual reconstruction of Nuraghe Arrubiu as it was once

When the nuraghi were built?

The recording and analysis of archaeologists tell us that nuragici began building the nuraghi around the second millennium BC: no unanimous opinion. According to the majority of academics, anyway, they were built largely during the middle Bronze Age, between the 1500 and 1100 BC.

Who built the nuraghi and how did they do it?

The nuraghi were built by the people who took their name by them, the Nuragici. People associated with the warriors Shardana, one of the so-called “Sea Peoples”, famous for being the elite guard of the Pharaoh Ramses II and being represented in the reliefs of the Temple of Karnak in the act of invading the Ancient Egypt.

But how they did in building the nuraghi?

As well as for the constriction of the pyramids, there are various hypotheses, but there are no certainties. The only certain thing is that lift huge stones, weighing up to tens of tons, must not have been easy with the know how of the times. Indeed, we are still in the field of megalithic, that affected much of Western del’Europa.

What were the Nuraghi of help for?

No one knows for sure, their use changed over time. They were built in such a way that each of them could see the other two, they might have had a purposes of territorial vigilance and communication, if not defense. Later, with the fall of the Nuraghic time, they became a place of worship, and after they were still being used as warehouses. It was also been proved that some of them have an astronomical orientation.

Where can I find the nuraghi?

Pass on E25 or on any country road you can just make a few meters to meet a nuraghe (the average density is 0.27 nuraghi per km², with peaks in some regions – such as Marghine and Trexenta – of 0.9), virtually every resort town has also its important nuragic sites, because these powerful structures were everywhere. So for example, in Santa Teresa di Gallura we have the Nuragic Complex of Lu Brandali, in Arzachena we have Nuraghe La Prisgiona and the Nuraghe Albucciu, in Alghero we have the Palmavera Nuraghe Complex.

In short, Sardinia is an ancient land that still hides many mysteries, to live here is like to begin to be part of it, because our traditions, our culture, our centenarians cuisine rooted in the dawn of time.

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