Oristano, noble soul of the island

Oristano has a history of several centuries, during which the city has lived periods of great splendor, as when it was the most important center of the Giudicato of Arborea, one of the independent kingdoms in which Sardinia was divided during the Middle Ages.

The importance of the city has historically made it a target and easy prey for invaders from the sea. For this reason, special military structures were built that still stand out well over the city. Among these the most famous is probably the Tower of Mariano, which is also called Torre di San Cristoforo. 

A story that has lasted for almost a thousand years

The Tower of Mariano takes its name from the one who wanted its construction. We are talking about Mariano II, then Judge of the Judicature of Arborea, who in 1290 started the work. The tower in the initial project had essentially two functions: on the one hand it was to serve as part of the defensive structures of Oristano, on the other it overlooked what was the main entrance of the city. The Middle Ages in these centuries was a very frenetic period, and the fragmentation of Sardinia in several kingdoms made necessary the presence of strong fortifications.

Over time, the walls began to lose their importance in the defense of the city, and the tower also lost its role as a focal point within military structures.

Foto : Viaggi Nanopress

The characteristics of the Mariano Tower

Before visiting the Mariano Tower here are some of the main information about the structure. The tower was built with the usual limestone, divided into blocks that were then rigorously organized to give the greatest possible solidity inside the building. The dimensions are quite large, if we consider the period in which it was built: it has a height of about 28 meters, while the base, square in shape, measures ten meters on each side.

Inside the tower is divided into three floors. The defence was mainly on the second floor, from which loopholes soldiers could attack possible invaders while remaining well covered against their attacks.

Observing the Tower of Mariano da Fuori you can see the particular arch placed near the base, under which was positioned the entrance to the city. The arch is called Arco di San Cristoforo.

Visit the Tower of Mariano

The citizens of Oristano have at heart the tower for its historical importance, and you can see from the great care with which it has been perfectly preserved after all this time. This structure, standing for centuries, is still part of the cultural fabric of the city.

The tower is open at any time of the year, but we advise you to carefully check the opening hours, because they may present some variations.

You have the opportunity to explore all three floors of the tower and climb to the top, so as to look out on Oristano and observe it from above. During the visit we suggest you to pay particular attention to the architectural aspects, typical of a military structure built in the Middle Ages.

It is not uncommon to find inside events and initiatives of great value. The goal in many cases is to enhance as much as possible the history of Oristano, so that it is not forgotten and become a source of pride for the new generations.

Where is Torre di San Cristoforo

At this point you are probably wondering how to reach the Tower of San Cristoforo. If you are in Oristano you will not have great difficulty finding it, since it is located in the area of the old town, on which stands with its height.

If you need directions to reach Oristano a lot depends on the means of transport you choose to use. By car just follow the SS131 road, which crosses the western part of Sardinia from North to South, connecting Cagliari and Sassari. This route is used by most of the buses that constantly move between Oristano and many places in Sardinia.

Alternatively, trains are available. Oristano Station is just a few minutes’ walk from the historic centre.

Immerse yourself in the flavors of Oristano

The visit to the tower can be really impressive, but we guarantee that it will not take away your appetite. For this reason, after exploring this ancient building, the best alternative would be to eat in some restaurants in the surrounding area.

Since you are in Oristano you should try some typical dishes, so as to discover new flavors, unique and very particular. A very well known and appreciated dish is undoubtedly the mullet bottarga. It is prepared with mullet eggs properly prepared. Another very famous recipe is malloreddus, a kind of gnocchi flavored with sausage sauce.

If you are looking for a meat dish you should try porceddu, the famous roast pig typical of Sardinia.

Copertina: Viaggi Nanopress

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