Archive for the Castello Category

Cagliari – Quartiere Castello – Palazzo Viceregio

Posted in Cagliari, Castello, Italy, Sardinia with tags , on March 10, 2016 by gannet39

Next to the cathedral in Piazza Palazzo is the Palazzo Viceregio or Viceregal Palace www.sardegnacultura.it.

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Entrance is free and it’s not very big so it’s worth a look quick look around.

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Built in the early 14th century by the Pisans, it was the residence of the representative of the king during the Aragonese and Savoy occupations.

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It has undergone various refits over time and is now the seat of the prefecture of Cagliari.

Between 1799 and 1815 it was occupied by the Italian royal family who had been forced into exile by Napoleon.

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The most impressive room is the council room which was remodelled between 1893 and 1896 with new frescoes and stucco work.

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Cagliari – Quartiere Castello – Cattedrale di Cagliari

Posted in Cagliari, Castello, Italy, Sardinia with tags on March 9, 2016 by gannet39

For me the most beautiful building in Cagliari is the stunning 13th century cathedral. www.duomodicagliari.it

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The original style was Pisan-Romanesque (Pisa once controlled Sardinia) but it was given a Baroque makeover in the 17th and 18th centuries.

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The cathedral was renovated again in the 1930s when it received its current neo-Romanesque façade which is quite similar to the original. This and other features were greatly influenced by the Cathedral of Pisa.

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Above the lintels of the three front doorways are lunettas containing brightly coloured mosaics.

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The two beautiful pulpits, sculpted in the mid-12th century, were originally destined for the Cathedral of Pisa but were later donated to Cagliari.

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Below the presbytery balustrade are four marble lions.

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The one outside, on the wall opposite the cathedral, has seen better days poor thing.

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In the northern transept is the ornate 17th century mausoleum of Martin I of Sicily who died during an invasion by Sardinia’s island neighbour.

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Other sculptures depict scenes from the Bible.

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In the crypt is the Sanctuary of the Martyrs…

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…which contains relics of the martyrs of Cagliari.

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The crypt is divided into three chapels decorated in Baroque style.

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Back outside, the carvings above the side door of the cathedral are quite nice too.

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One of the most beautiful cathedrals in Italy. I thoroughly recommend it, and that’s coming from an atheist!

Cagliari – Quartiere Castello – Museo Archeologico Nazionale

Posted in Cagliari, Castello, Italy, Sardinia with tags , , on March 8, 2016 by gannet39

The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cagliari www.sardegnacultura.it was the highlight of my visit to the castle. It’s open from 09.00 to 20.00 every day except Monday. It’s right next door to the Pinacoteca Nazionale, the National Art Gallery, but I didn’t have time to go there as the museum took a couple of hours to get around. Like regional galleries and museums all around Italy they call themselves ‘national’ for some reason. In 2015 the museum cost €4, or you could get a joint ticket that takes in the gallery as well for €5.

The photos that follow are just of objects that caught my eye. They are just a few of the thousands of objects on display.

The exhibition begins in the Stone Age with a few Neolithic icons.

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The star of the show however is the Nuraghic civilisation, so-called because of the stone Megaliths they built, called Nuraghe, which can be found all over Sardinia (there are 7000 in all).

The other remnant of this Bronze Age civilisation are the Bronzetti, small bronze figurines that depict people from different social classes and groups (mothers, hunters, warriors, chiefs) as well as animals, divinities, ships and everyday objects.

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About 500 of the figures have been found in total, mainly in Sardinia, but also at Etruscan sites on the mainland, in Campania and Lazio, as well as the Greek site of Crotone in Calabria.

On a larger scale, also from the same Nuraghic civilisation, are the Gigantis de Mont’e Prama, or Giants of Mont’e Prama; a group of tall stone statues possibly depicting heroes or gods.

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There are also a lot of clay figures on display, some quite amusing and bizarre. This first one might be a baby feeding bottle, or perhaps an oil pourer. I was whizzing through so I can’t remember which civilisations they’re from sorry.

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There are pieces from more far-flung civilisations, such as Egyptian…

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…Greek…

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… and even Indian.

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Not sure where this interesting necklace is from.

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Of course there are plenty of Roman finds. These I think were offerings thrown into a lake.

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The Romans liked to have plenty of statues around…

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… and to be buried in stone sarcophagi.

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And finally a bit of Medieval.

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This is one of the best museums I’ve been too in terms of the quality and number of finds on display. It gives you a good idea of the importance of Sardinia as an interface between the many cultures that have passed through the Mediterranean.

 

Cagliari – Quartiere Castello – walking around

Posted in Cagliari, Castello, Italy, Sardinia with tags , , on March 7, 2016 by gannet39

The most interesting area to walk around in Cagliari is the citadel, known as Quartiere Castello, or Su Casteddu in local parlance (also a name for the city as a whole), and by the tourist board as La Cittadella dei Musei.

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As well as the fantastic views over the city, there are several attractions up here, including the Cathedral, Viceroyal Palace, Archaeology Museum, National Gallery and several other museums (please click on the names to see separate posts). =coming soon.

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The citadel can be accessed from various points. From the Hotel Italia I walked up Largo Carlo Felice to Chiesa Santa Clara and took the lift behind the church up to the final level in front of Torre dell’ Elefante, one of the defensive towers built by the Pisans at the beginning of the 14th century.

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Further to the north in the citadel is the Torre di San Pancrazio, built at the same time. www.beniculturalicagliari.it For two or three euros you can climb the towers to get good views.

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Built in local white limestone, the effect of the sun shining on the towers and other buildings caused D.H.Lawrence to describe Cagliari as a ‘white Jerusalem’.

Part of the fun is walking the long narrow streets which are kept cool by the high buildings that tower above them. Gateways and tunnels are everywhere.

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The architecture is not particularly ornate but every now and then you come across a little gem.

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The citadel also seems to be the bohemian and artistic quarter, perhaps because property is relatively cheap up here due to it’s inaccessibility.

After several hours of walking around, a pit stop was definitely in order. For that there’s no better place than Caffè delle Arti at 1 Via del Fossario, just down the road from the Cathedral. Google map here.

The terrace has commanding views out over the eastern side of the city and they sell great thirst-quenching craft beers from a local craft brewery called Barley www.barley.it based in Maracalagonis,  just outside Cagliari.

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Their quality ales come in big chunky bottles. It’s the first time I’ve been served beer as if it was champagne!

I can vouch for their Duenna, an American Saison (6.5%, slightly bitter, gold coloured) and Tuvi Tuvi, a blond beer (6.2%, less bitter, more fruity, straw coloured).

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The terrace would make a great place for a date. Definitely one of my hot tips 😉

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