“Su Nuraxi”(i.e. The Nuraghe) or more properly the nuragic village of “Su Nuraxi”, is a settlement dating back to the nuragic era developed around at one four-lobed nuraghe (i.e. a bastion of four corner towers and one on the center), between the thirteenth and sixth centuries BC, that is located in the territory of Barumini in Sardinia . It is the largest nuragic village of Sardinia and of the world. Until the first half of the ‘900, between the villages of Barumini and Tuili (at the foot of the Giara of Gesturi), there was a curious hill. The most curious thing was not its shape, but the presence of a window. For years there were myths and legends, often created to ensure that children couldn’t go too close to that mysterious place. So a young archaeologist from Barumini named Giovanni Lilliu, asked to dig to find out what was hidden under the mound and especially under the window. Works began in 1951 and the same Lilliu could not expect to find a treasure so amazing.
Under 30 meters of earth was hidden Su Nuraxi (the Nuraghe), a colossus of stone, formidable testimony of nuragic civilization, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. The importance of the nuraghe of Barumini is its complexity and its excellent state of preservation; particular is the proximity of the huge fortress, consisting of several nuragic towers and the vast and labyrinthine village with narrow alleys and courtyard houses, wells, tanks and huts for meetings. The central tower, which was originally more than 19 meters high, consists of three overlapping “tholos” (the typical rooms of the nuraghe) dating back to 1478 BC, the date obtained by analyzing with the carbon-14 a piece of olive wood found wedged between the large basalt boulders that make up the structure. The four towers, which surround the central tower, positioned in the four cardinal points and originally built on two floors, were built probably around the thirteenth century BC. Another element is clearly visible, and it is the wall thickness of about 3 meters, which completely covers the bastion, built around the XI century. B.C., perhaps to reinforce the structure. By the construction of this wall, to enter into the Nuraghe of Barumini, you had to reach a small door entrance located to a height of about 7 meters, so making “Su Nuraxi” in the eyes of the enemy, an impregnable fortress. Even today, after the excavations carried out by the archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu in the 50s, the only entrance to the fort is the elevated “door” .
To visit the Nuraghe of Barumini there is an obligatory guided tour with departures every half hour and with schedules that vary from period to period. For groups is recommended a reservation.
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When you are in Barumini, in addition to the nuragic village you can visit several churches (the oldest, that of St. Nicholas, dates back to the XI-XII sec.) and the famous house “Casa Zapata” a wonderful, complex residence erected by the ancient and noble Aragonese family of Zapata from the end of the sixteenth century. The members of this family arrived in Sardinia in 1323 to the following of the Infante Alfonso, who was preparing for the conquest of the island, and they settled, therefore, in Cagliari (one of the Royals City ) and in 1541 acquired the Barony of “La Plassas”, Barumini and Villanovafranca. Among the various buildings that make up the residence stands a splendid palace, with elegant private garden, built between the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. In front of “Casa Zapata” is located the Church of Our Lady Immaculate, whose construction was probably commissioned by the same noble family of Aragon. Today the Spanish residence is home to the so-called Museums “Casa Zapata” organized in three sections.
GPS Coordinates “Su Nuraxi”: 39.70593, 8.990688