By admin | May 25, 2017 | Posted in: Uncategorised
The enchanting island of Sardinia is not all about picture-perfect beaches and limpid, turquoise waters. It’s also recognised for its numerous historical sites. One of those is the magnificent Torre dell’Elefante.
When staying at Forte Village, people love to visit the Torre dell’Elefante tower. It’s about 53 minutes and 48 kilometres from the resort when you go down the SS 195 road.
With the dawn of the fourteenth century, came the emergence of the Mediterranean empire of the Crown of Aragon. Threatened by the rapidly growing civilisation, Pisa began to raise monumental towers in order to strengthen its position in southern Sardinia.
Built in 1307 by Giovanni Capula, the Torre dell’Elefante or Tower of the Elephant is one of the two Pisan towers that have managed to remain standing till date. Situated in the Castello historical quarter of Cagliari, the 42 metre-high medieval tower was a defensive structure, constructed to protect against the threat of the Aragonese, as well as the Moorish and Genoese attackers.
In addition to the St. Pancras and Eagle towers, the tower features thick walls, narrow windows, and heavy shutters. On three sides, the tower was constructed with white limestone from the nearby Colle di Bonaria. The fourth side was left open, featuring four levels with wooden floors. On the south side, the elephant statue and the original Pisan families’ coats of arms remain visible. The tower takes its name from the elephant sculpted onto the portcullis.
The Torre dell’Elefante guarded one of the main entrances to the city and was intended to reinforce the city walls. The tower provided a good lookout that allowed Pisans to spot possible attacks from the sea.
After Aragon conquered Sardinia and obtained control of the area, the tower was modified with a wall built to the north of it, allowing the tower to be used as a jail and store. Also, the Aragonese hung severed heads of the executed on the walls. Later, in 1852, its crenelated storey was added and used to hold political prisoners.
It was restored in 1906 and many sections that had been obscured by other buildings were reopened. Visiting The Elephant Tower allows you access to the right side of the church of St. Joseph. Even today, the tower remains one of the most scenic entrances to the castle.
When visiting, climbing to the top of the tower allows you to see breath-taking 360-degree views of the city’s rooftops. The tower is not for the faint of heart with its almost terrifying décor and scary stairs. You’ll certainly get good exercise climbing up the wooden stairs, numbering over 100. However, if you’re able to brave the steep steps and get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with amazing views you won’t forget in a hurry.
The Torre dell’Elefante is open daily in winter from 9:00 hrs to 17:00 hrs and in summer from 10:00 hrs to 19:00 hrs. It costs about £2.50 per person. For safety reasons, there is an age limit of 7 years.