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Barumini Towers (World Heritage)

The up to 20 m high towers, so-called nuraghi, are relics from the Bronze Age in Sardinia. The largest and best-preserved nuraghe complex, also known as the Grand Nuraghe, is Su Nuraxi near Barumini.

Barumini towers: facts

Official title: Nuraghe (Bronze Age towers) of Barumini (Sardinia)
Cultural monument: “Prehistoric towers of Sardinia” with a height of up to 20 m, spread over the island about 7000 of these buildings made of large dry stone blocks; Literal meaning »Nur« with modifications »Nuraxi« or »Nuracu« in German »Haufen«; Su Nuraxi di Barumini with today still almost 15 m high tower and the five-tower citadel as the central building; 22,850 cubic meters of rock were used in four construction phases
Continent: Europe
Country: Italy, Sardinia
Location: Su Nuraxi, west of Barumini, north of Cagliari
Appointment: 1997
Meaning: unique prehistoric defensive structures from the Bronze Age; with the ensemble in Barumini the best preserved evidence of the so-called »nuraghi«

Barumini Tower Buildings: History

15th century BC Chr.-2. Century AD construction of the nuraghi in different phases
1500-500 BC Chr. actual nuragic culture
1460 (+/- 200) BC Chr. by radiocarbon analysis of a remnant of a juniper trunk trapped in the vault of Su Nuraxi, evidence of the construction with what was once a 19 m high tower
1940 first test drillings and test excavations
1949-56 archaeological investigation of Su Nuraxi

The splendor of the irregular

What came first – architecture that is born out of the head or that appropriates the forms of nature? The building researchers puzzled about this for a long time, and the question remains unanswered. The human mind wants to get a grip on the disordered world: That is why the cave paintings of the Stone Age are rather abstract, for example the Greeks populated southern Italy in the eighth century BC with rational, right-angled city models. Sardinia’s prehistoric nuraghi, “the splendor of the irregular, prism of a thousand mysterious lights,” as the late Italian art historian Bruno Zevi put it, with their stone walls that trace the lines of the landscape are the counter-model. And as an excellent solution for specific geographic.

The C14 samples showed 1460 BC as the year this parade nuraghe was founded among the 7000 still existing prehistoric residential, defense and cult towers in Sardinia. Just as medieval cities blend into the landscape and radiate security with their winding streets, the foundations of the settlement at the foot of the castle overlap in a similar way. “Enjoyment of the unlimited curve”, “anti-classical mentality that abhors geometries and symmetries”, “religious horror of perfection”, “as in twelve-tone music, dissonance dominates”, these are some of the definitions of historians who are convinced that Su Nuraxi di Barumini did not come about by chance, but embodies a worldview. For esotericists, the complex is a bit of a mystery, because the excavated bronze warriors, like people from another planet, have antennas on their helmets and sometimes four eyes. “E. T. «- Director Steven Spielberg, it is said, was inspired by such» Martians «to create his» extraterrestrial film epic «.

In the center of Su Nuraxi there is an originally 19 meter high tower made from seamlessly and without mortar, lumps of basalt weighing tons, which were pulled up over rollers and ramps for the construction. The interior is a false-vaulted cone, meaning the walls are leaning against each other, and the flat top creates a viewing platform from which to control the landscape. The three rooms on top of each other, presumably the residence of the prince or “shepherd king”, could be reached via a spiral staircase. Four smaller towers connected by walls created a spacious courtyard at the foot of the “stronghold”, into which the villagers fled from their round stone huts in the event of enemy attacks. During sieges, the residents supplied themselves with water from a 20 meter deep well. As the population grew, a deeper second ring of the wall was built. At the beginning of the Iron Age, i.e. from the 10th to the 8th century BC, building activity was particularly pronounced, and Su Nuraxi were populated by up to a thousand people.

The Sardinians are a rural people who have curled up on an island, it is said in Italy. According to naturegnosis, a definition that also applies to the indigenous people who came across the eastern Mediterranean at some point: traces of the Mycenae culture are present, the trulli of Apulia and the talayots of the Balearic Islands are considered nuraghi relatives. But soon the immigrants turned their backs on the sea.

In the seventh century BC, the Carthaginians conquered Su Nuraxi, which was rebuilt after the destruction and inhabited as a “fortified village”. Only in the fifth century AD did solitude spread on the high plateau of volcanic origin. Centuries passed before the archaeologist Giovanni Lilliu brought the fortress into the light of modernity.

Barumini Towers