Castelsardo stands in the natural setting of the Gulf of Asinara.
The particular geographical position and the presence of different natural landings, favored the choice of the place as the site of human settlements starting from the Neolithic, evidenced by the presence in our territory of Domus de Janas and numerous Nuraghi. These strategic and resource-rich places attracted populations from all over the Mediterranean Sea, from the Phoenicians to the Carthaginians, up to Roman domination.
But only in the last 900 years Castelsardo becomes History.
Founded around 1200 with the name of Castel Genovese by the powerful Genoese Doria family, on the foundations of a previous outpost, the city and the castle served to dominate and control the many Genoese possessions in northern Sardinia. In 1448 the city, like all of Sardinia, came under the control of the Crown of Aragon, which renamed it Castel Aragonese; it's in this period that the village acquires the appearance of an unconquerable fortress, protected by the promontory on the sea where it stands and made even safer by the improvements made by the Aragonese. It is only centuries later, in 1767, under the Savoy dynasty that the village takes on today's name of Castelsardo.
Its ramparts, the colorful houses along the steep stairways adorned with plants and flowers, the narrow cobbled streets characterize the stronghold where you can visit the Doria Castle. The architecture of that historical period has come down to the present day in a fairly good state of conservation, but the tall towers that protected it have now disappeared from the walls.
Today Castelsardo is famous for its craftsmanship and for having preserved intact ancient traditions: in the Castle there is the Museum of the Mediterranean Weaving, one of the most visited in Sardinia, where you can admire the baskets made by hand weaving the fibers of the dwarf palm, of the sea hay and raffia. In the narrow streets sitting on the doorstep it is still possible to meet the baskets, the keepers of the art of weaving whose products in the past were an integral part of the life of farmers and fishermen, creating for them the pots, the corbules, the baskets, sieves, ropes and horsehair for mattresses.
Do not miss a visit to the beautiful Sant'Antonio Cathedral, dating back to the sixteenth century, in which Catalan Gothic and Renaissance classicism architectural elements blend, with the bell tower overlooking the sea and its dome decorated with polychrome majolica.
A few kilometers from the city center, along the SS 134, the Elephant Rock rises, a large volcanic boulder eroded by atmospheric agents in the singular aspect of a pachyderm. The Elephant Rock is also of considerable archaeological importance since burial chambers, the Domus de Janas, dating back to the pre-nuraghic period, were created at its base.
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