Origins, Art and Tradition
Tradition tells us that the town of Castelsardo was established by the Doria family around 1100. The town changed its name according to those occupying it at the time: from "Castelgenovese" under the Doria family empire, to "Castellaragonese" following the 1449 Spanish occupation.
It was only in 1767 that Carlo Emanuele di Savoia gave it the name we still use today.
This small town (5,200 inhabitants) clinging to a promontory stretched out towards the Gulf of Asinara, is part of the prestigious association of the most beautiful villages in Italy and not by chance. The view of the fortified centre that overlooks the sea with its castle is nothing more than magnificent.
Few towns can be compared to Castelsardo, counting a unique historical and cultural heritage and in terms of dynamism and above all enjoyment by visitors.
Among the various important projects, we really would like to mention the itinerary of the seven royal towns of Sardinia, which also involves a further six important Sardinian centres (Alghero, Bosa, Cagliari, Iglesias, Oristano and Sassari).
Episcopal headquarters from 1503 to 1839, Castelsardo offers visitors a breathtaking route through the intertwining streets and alleys of the village, laid out on the promontory, which culminates with the dominating presence of the castle.
The "Museo dell' Intreccio Mediterraneo" (Mediterranean Basket Weaving Museum) within the manor house and the diocesan museum located inside the cathedral, is also the headquarters of the ancient Ampurias Dioceses of St. Antonio Abate, all are well worth a visit.
Built between 1586 and 1607 on top of the previous Romanesque building, the church is beautifully set within the medieval centre, looking out over the steep wall of the promontory facing the Gulf of Asinara.
It is a rare treasure chest of art. Inside, we can admire works by the famous Castelsardo masters.
The polyptych of the Madonna with musical angels is significant in the history of Sardinia, as it puts Sardinia well within the new Italian artistic climate of the Renaissance and Flemish masters.
Along the path leading through the intricate streets of the centre, there is a spectacular view along the Spanish Bastion walls, from where the defense towers of Porta a Mare can be seen in the direction of the city walls.
The Easter procession of Lunissanti is well worth seeing. In each station, ten living mysteries parade in the procession and are emphasized by the exciting and ancient choral polyphonies.
On Easter Friday, Jesus is taken down from the Cross (il cravamentu).
Other important events are those organised by the town hall for Easter Monday.
For years now, Castelsardo has welcomed thousands of tourists, especially younger tourists, who flock to the area to see concerts held within the castle and that take place on the lawn.
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