|If you only visit one nurahge, make it this one! Just take a look at its aerial view from Google ...
Signposted from Sant' Andrea Priu and south of Torralba, on the SP121, in the valley of the nuraghes - they are everywhere! We'd taken some binoculars and spotted the nuraghes of Fraigas, Oes, Bonzalzas, Mura Coloras and Cabu Abbas with little difficulty - all under 1.5km away. Fig 29 in Margaret Guido's book shows the distribution of nuraghe across the island - and here it's over 0.6 per square km. Crazy!
There's a fair bit of parking in the layby, a simple cafe, ticket booth (entrance fee 3 euros, ticket also valid for the Valle dei Nuraghi museum in Torralba) with information leaflets and an extra hut selling local produce of all kinds.
The site has been managed by La Pintadera Cooperative since 1992, when the town council assigned Santu Antine to them.
We stopped for a toastie and a drink, while talking to an older couple trying to persuade a small scared white kitten to drink the cup of milk they'd bought for it, and then went past the reconstructed round hut at the gate and to the southerly entrance.
There's a settlement surrounding the nuraghe and it's possible to make out maybe 10 huts, with some later Roman building too.
The nuraghe itself is built on a triangular plan out of basalt blocks. As you go in, there's a guard post or sentry box to the left - this area now houses the visitors' book - and then the courtyard. It might make more sense if you have a look at the plan .... but ....
The furthest left is the entrance to the west tower (B), then a passage which joins the passage which runs from the west to the north tower (D). There's a flight of stairs up to the second level with a well just in front of it, then an entrance to the central tower. The pattern repeats itself with another staircase, a passage to the passage that runs from D to C, and entrance to the east tower (C).
We checked out the ground level first of all, amazed at the illuminated corridors, and saw the second well in the north tower, which also has a secondary - now barred - entrance to the nuraghe. Then we took the left hand stairs which lead to a walkway round the perimeter wall and then back down the right hand stairs.
The central tower or keep used to be about 25 metres tall, but is only about 17.5 now. Entering this from the east-west courtyard, there's a corridor that rings the chamber to the right and a staircase to the left. The ground floor chamber has an impressive tholos and is 5.25m wide and almost 8m tall. Following the winding staircase up to the second level, there's another tholos chamber on top of the first one and this room has several storage niches visible and a low bench seat along its walls. Up again to the third level - this room is now open to the air, hence the reduced height of the tower - with superb views over the surrounding settlement and across the valley and the numerous other nuraghe in the vicinity.
The light had changed in the ground floor corridors by the time we came back down again, from the initial warm orange to a beautiful cool blue grey.
A stunning place!
Posted by sals
13th October 2007ce
Edited 14th October 2007ce