The Castle of Acquafredda
The “Domo Andesitico”
October 31, Halloween. An imported feast for us, but every opportunity is valid if it gives us an opportunity to spend a day in a way different from the usual, maybe going to visit a place that you don’t know, so what better day than Halloween, to visit the Castle of Acquafredda?
The “Domo Andesitico di Acquafredda“, known as the Castle of Acquafredda, natural monument since 1993, is an important example of fortified structure of medieval era and was built on a volcanic hill 256m high, located 4 km far from Siliqua, a town in the province of Cagliari, situated in the valley of Cixerri, in a flat area surrounded by an environment of rare beauty. It is believed, in the absence of reliable documents, that the castle was built by the famous Pisan nobleman Ugolino della Gherardesca Count of Donoratico, also mentioned by Dante in his “Inferno“, who became lord of the south-western coast of Sardinia since 1257 (and it is in this period that is believed to have been built the castle) after the fall of the “Giudicato di Cagliari“. The strategic location of the castle allowed Ugolino to supervise the many deposits of silver, zinc and lead present there, which were a source of inexhaustible wealth to Pisa. After the Pisans, the castle became property of the Aragonese until 1410, after that date, probably, was no longer inhabited, passing by the time in the hands of different feudal families until it was rescued in 1785 by Vittorio Amedeo King of Sardinia. The castle is built on three levels, the village, the cistern tower and the castle itself. The village which was the lowest part of the castle, consisted of a series of rooms to house servants and troops, stables and warehouses for food supplies, tools and weapons. Everything was protected by a wall about 80 meters long, in which have been identified traces of four towers and the patrol paths. In the village has also been found a tank made of brick. In this area of the castle there is also an unsolved mystery: the real existence of the church of Santa Barbara. In fact for some experts this is actually the church of Santa Margherita, located outside the boundaries of the castle which eventually changed its name; here in 2005, during some restoration work, were found three human burials. In the second level it is visible a cistern tower divided into three rooms that could be filled with large stocks of water. In the upper part, the “Mastio” was reachable through a stone staircase, and there, was the residence of the castellan. Five emblems are still visible, as well as the tower where it was probably imprisoned Vanni Gubetta, one of the traitors of Count Ugolino.
In addition to the historical interest, the Castle of Acquafredda and its hill have also natural and environmental features of great value and of special scientific interest and are an irreplaceable ecological niche for bats, rock doves, night birds of prey and the lesser kestrel, species at high risk of extinction. Furthermore from here you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Cixerri valley and of the ponds of Cagliari, of sea, of the Marmilla(sub-region of central-southern Sardinia) and of Iglesiente(territory of Iglesias) and on a clear day the view extends to the Gennargentu !!!
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