Su Nuraxi is an important Nuragic fortress and surrounding village dating back to the middle bronze age, around 1500 BC (carbon dating puts it at 1478). The fortress has been changed and modified over the years as invaders came from the sea, which intensified the need for defense. Giovanni Lilliu’s excavations proved that Su Nuraxi was being inhabited until the third century AD. He also found that the opening to the fortress wasn’t on ground level–it was 7 meters above.
It is an imposing site on the horizon as you walk up. Once the whole complex appeared as just a hill in the countryside. Then a big rain exposed the main tower, and the complex was excavated by archaeologists.
The central tower is surrounded by a rampart with four towers. These are surrounded by a hexagonal arrangement of seven towers. The views from these towers is spectacular.
The village surrounding the fortress is an amazing maze of huts, crossroads, and public spaces, as you see in the pictures below.
Su Nuraxi has been inscribed in the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites since 1997.
Su Nuraxi is about 40 miles north of Cagliari. To visit the Nuragic complex you’ll need to book an obligatory tour at the entrance. Tours are usually given every half hour. An alternative is to employ a private guide. A ticket is good for visiting Su Nuraxi as well as, Casa Zapata and the Center Giovanni Lilliu. For those interested in Sardinia’s many unique musical instruments, inside the Casa Zapata complex you’ll find a small ethnographic museum which includes the Launeddas Museum. For more information, see the Funazione Barumini Website.
“Su Nuraxi” means “The Nuraghe” in the Sardinian language. It’s the one you should see. (There are about 7,000 “lesser” examples on the island!)