Inside Sardinia: The Giants’ Tomb of Su Cuaddu’e Nixias

During Sardinia’s winter months when the maestrale wind outnumbers the sunny days, I like of take off to little unknown pockets of this vast island. I’m usually without a map, but not far from reach is a cellphone with gps, because here in the back mountains of Sardegna, any turn can take you to mysterious and often forgotten ancient monuments of the island, and I recently got lost here …

🔹The Giants’ Tomb of Su Cuaddu’e Nixias in Lunamatrona. Possibly the oldest tomb on the island. Circa 1700-1600 AC. These megalithic structures which were used as massive collective graves can be found all over the island of Sardinia, some are so massive that you feel so small, some tombs are just left in ruins and others feel like a porthole to another dimension.

Su Cuaddu’e Nixias, Lunamatrona, Sardegna, Italy

Su Cuaddu’e Nixias loosely translates to Nixias’ Horse. This tomb is fascinating by the presence of a hole at the center of the pillar. According to legend, the purpose of this hole was to tether horses. However, some scholars believe that the hole was created well after the Nuragic civilization. Leaving many to wonder the hole’s intended original purpose.

There are few, if any, written records from that time. What we have left are fragments of a strong and resilient civilization that domineered this island with their structures that still stand today, and this is what I find so mysteriously beautiful about this island in the Mediterranean.

Have you visited any of the archeological monuments here on the island?

The Smurf House of Tempio Pausania

Did you know – that there is a small smurf house nestled in the valley at Monte Pulchiana in the province of Tempio Pausania? I didn’t either until a wonderful outdoor excursion brought me there recently. In reality, this granite mass is called a tafone. Tafoni(plural) are small to large cave-like features that develop within the natural face of granite or sandstone. Obviously, someone had the brilliant idea to turn this tafone into a little smurf home. Love it!

Otherwise known (in Sardinia) as The Smurf House or Casa dei Puffi. This smurf house sits on private property and you cannot access it without permission from the owners, and from what I’ve been told, this little house is used as a farmer’s shed. You can drive by the property to see this house, however, there are many ‘do not enter’ signs on the gate. This day the gate was open and I took a quick chance and stepped onto the property to grab a quick photo.

If I could, I would love to live in a little house like this. What about you?

Pozzo Sacro di Predio Canopoli, Perfugas, Sardinia

The sacred well of Predio Canopoli in the historical town center of Perfugas dates back to the Nuragic civilization that dominated the island of Sardinia from the Bronze Age (18th century BC) to the 2nd century AD.

Pozzo Sacro di Predio Canopoli by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life

The sacred well is part of a larger complex which includes the remains of a stone fence. The well was accidentally discovered in 1923 by the land owner who was probably searching for clues to the mysterious Nuragic period (there is very little documentation showing how the nuragic civialization survived, most are hypothesis and theories).

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Medieval Sardinia: Castello dei Doria, Chiaramonti, Sassari

There is very little information on the history of Castello dei Doria, but what remains clear is: this magnificent castle perched on the hill of St. Matthew in the province of Sassari, Sardinia is a stunning piece of medieval history and a must-see for every traveler to the area. Admission free, with panoramic views all around.

The castle was named after Eleanora of Arborea‘s mother-in-law Giacomina Doria. Eleanora of Arborea is a renowned heroin to many of the islands’ residents. From 1383 to her death, she was one of the most powerful judges in Sardinian history.

Castello dei Doria, Chiaramonti

Castello dei Doria by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life

It’s an impressive building dating back to the 12th century when the Doria family (originally from Liguria) had it built as part of their defensive line in the historical region of Anglona, Sardinia.

Castello dei Doria by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (2)

There are a number of castles and towers all over Sardinia which were built in medieval times to protect against attacks and thieves; like the ruler of Arborea, Mariano IV, who longed to own the castle, as well as King Peter IV of Aragon who in turn, hoped to gain possession of the castle thanks to a marriage in which he had close relations.

Castello dei Doria by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (3)

In 1448 the castle was transformed into a church – The Parish Church of St. Matthew – San Matteo, Chiaramonti.  Today it dominates the valley below with spectacular views from north to south.

Castello dei Doria by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (4)

Castello dei Doria by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (5)

What went on inside these walls during medieval times?

Castello dei Doria by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (6)

Castello dei Doria is rich in legends, story and war. Left for the spirits to tell the tales for a hundred years and more.

Castello dei Doria by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (7)

During my research for this article I found that this castle has, and does go by several names:

  • Castello dei Doria
  • Castello Doria
  • Castel Doria
  • Castello di Chiaramonti
  • Chiaramonti Castle

Have you seen this stunning gem perched high up in the Sardinian sky?

Source: Sardegna.Blogosphere

  • © 2010-2013 Jennifer Avventura All rights reserved.

Prehistoric Sardinia – Monte d’Accoddi

Sardinia is one of the most geologically ancient bodies of land in Europe and in the picturesque province of Sassari lays the prehistoric, megalithic, ziggurat of Monte d’Accoddi.  

The largest and only one in Europe.

Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life Monte d'Accoddi

This megalithic structure dates back to 4000 – 3,650 BC, and was just discovered fifty-nine years ago! It’s been described as an altar, temple or step pyramid.

Reconstruction of the altar started in the 80’s with commission to re-build the top-level of the altar and the straightening of the menhir, which was found on its side.

Monte d'Accoddi by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life

Monte d’Accoddi, Sardegna, Italia

Menhir, Monte d'Accoddi

Menhir, Monte d’Accoddi

The gigantic oval stone “was brought to the site years after the altar was discovered in 1954.” Said someone at the site.

Oval stone at Monte d'Accoddi

Oval stone at Monte d’Accoddi

I’m left questioning … “what was really going on at this giant prehistoric altar?”

To me, the menhir symbolizes strength within a society –  man, whereas the oval stone is the entrance to the gateway of life – woman.

What do you think?

Ponder this while you take in the view from the top of Monte d’Accoddi.

Monte d'Accoddi by Jennifer Avventura My Sardinian Life (2)

What happened at Monte d’Accoddi?

P.S. Sardinia not just breathtaking beaches and emerald coasts.

Sources: – Photo Gallery Prehistorical altar of Monte d’Accoddi 
Wikipedia – Monte d’Accoddi

  • © 2010-2013 Jennifer Avventura All rights reserved.

The Spanish Tower of Isola Rossa | Sardinia, Italy

Isola Rossa or Red Island owes its name to the granite islet that lies in front of the harbour. Isola Rossa is a fisherman’s hamlet and retains its original characteristics despite the ongoing residential developments.

The area provides excellent holiday accommodations for families and for the romantic getaway. There are two main beaches in Isola RossaSpiaggetta del Porto and Spiaggia Longo. The fresh clean waters are a magnet for scuba divers, snorkelers and swimmers.

Here you will find unspoilt shorelines and a Spanish watch tower that was built in the 1595.

La Torre Spagnola dell’Isola Rossa – The Spanish Tower of Isola Rossa

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