Among the most fascinating in Sardinia: the Castle of Quirra.
At just few kilometers away from the beautiful beaches of Muravera and Villaputzu (Sardinia eastern coast),
on the Mount Cudias, it is located the Castle of Quirra, among the 83 most important medieval castles of Sardinia.
It’s an amazing example of military but also civil architecture between 1200 and 1300.
The Castle was in the middle of essential disputes for setting the control of the island as well as
dramatic and … mysterious facts!
A little bit of History.
The Castle was built by the Judges of Cagliari in the second half of the thirteenth
century, it was shortly after conquered by the Judge of Gallura Nino, then in 1324 passed to the
Republic of Pisa. After forty years, Quirra Castle will be conquered by Admiral Francisco Carroz
the chief of the Aragonese fleet, after being undergone the unsuccessful sieges of the Republic of Genoa
and of the Judge of Arborea.
Positioned in a strategic position, in the territory of Quirra (today called Sarrabus) it dominates all
the access routes to the rich mines areas of the Sardinia interior, for this reason when
the Pisans lost the Castle, they had to withdraw from the south-eastern part of Sardinia and “settle”
only in the Cagliari’s county and the Iglesiente region (so, south and the south-west side of the island).
It therefore became a permanent property of the Carroz family for about five hundred years.
Having lost its residential value the Castle of Quirra, in 1646, was occupied by four hundred French
victims of a shipwreck directed to Naples. They took refuge there keeping it only for a short time.
In 1839 the feudal system in Sardinia was abolished, it passed to Carlo Alberto di Savoia King of
How to reach the Castle.
From the historical center of Cagliari, where our b & b Ca ‘del Sol is located, in about one
hour driving you can get easily to the Castle of the Carroz family in the territory of Villaputzu (CA).
Below you get our route suggestion on the Google map. 😉
We recommend you, leaving the city to follow the signs to Poetto beach, driving alongside the
Molentargius Park, it is popular ’cause the big colony of Pink Flamingos, then take the SP17 coast road
towards Villasimius and the new SS 125. You can quickly get it out at the exit immediately after
the village of Villaputzu. That’s it!
A breath-taking excursion.
Once you’ve parked your car, the easy climb by foot to the top of the Mount Cudias at 296 meters high, it
will give you a suggestive and unique vision of vast territories which, with the sea of Murtas beach and
the cape of San Lorenzo framing the eastern sea coast, is undoubtedly among the best in southern Sardinia!
The cart track that drives you up is wide and always well maintained by the Forestry Corps,
the signs are clear and well dislocated, trekking shoes and a canteen are absolutely recommended.
Best time for the excursion is from November to April, so you can enjoy the beautiful blooms
of broom and strawberry-tree as well as not boiling into the hell summer temperatures:
the Sarrabus, like the Iglesiente, it is the hottest area of the island.
Here are some photos we shoot just for you:
Mysteries and legends.
Three of the family members were directly involved into these legends. Bloody legends!
cousin of the famous heroine Eleonora D’Arborea, in the keep of the Castle accusing her of treason
in order to marry the beautiful countess Eleonora de Manriquez cousin of the queen of Aragon.
Violante II Carroz
Sadly, the most popular story is still today about Violante II Carroz, countess of Quirra.
Born in 1456, probably in Spain, she had to managed a vast territory that included the current
Ogliastra region, the Campidano of Cagliari county up to the current region of Pula with also large
areas at the slopes of Mount Arci, specifically the Marquisate of Ales (OR).
She was greedy and rapacious, thanks to what the chronicles of the time tell us, she got stained
by a turbulent relationship, tragically ended, with the young priest Giovanni Castangia execution,
with his hanging body exhibited from a grate of the Castle of Barumele in Ales.
Because this horrible crime she was excommunicated and forced to take refuge in Aragon, protected
by the King.
Many years later she was forgiven and rehabilitated, so she returned to Sardinia where she died in
the Castle of Quirra in 1510, not before, to hidden her gold loom inside one of the castle towers.
Violante was buried in the today-disappeared church of San Franccesco of Stampace in Cagliari
together with all her ancestors.
Sa Scala de Sa Contissa (The Countess’s stairway)
Another legend, concerning the Carroz family owners of the Castle of Quirra, tells about not better
specified count of Quirra’s daughter, pursued unsuccessfully by the count of Mandas, a city that was located
on the route from the Castle to the city of Ales, another property of the Carroz family.
Although he knew that was not corrisponded by the young Countess, he accepted the trial for heading to marry
her, by picking-up on a carriage pulled by four white horses climbing up a hill inaccessible and
steep, still called Sa Scala de Sa Contissa (The Countess’s stairway) today in the territory of
Armungia (CA). The Count of Mandas managed to pass the test and finally arrived to the home of the
young Countess of Quirra who, leading towards to the altar, however, died “of regret” in the arms
of her suitor!
Just for you an helpfull video by Mr Roberto Bodano.
…driving back don’t miss the Romanesque Church of San Nicola!
You absolutely have to see it! An authentic jewel at just one mile away from the Castle.
The Church of San Nicola di Quirra was rebuilt on the twelfth century on pre-existing Byzantine foundations,
by the Pisan monks of Santa Maria invited here, in 1104, by the Judge of Cagliari Turbino.
It is the second church erected in cotto-tile bricks of the whole Sardinia. As it being located at the slopes
of the Mount of Cudias, where the Castle was built over, the visual perspective is really interesting.
The proximity of the river Riu Durci gives the surrounding environment a peaceful atmosphere.
You will see the indications to the Church near the SS125 junction returning towards to Cagliari,
so, we strongly advise you: do not to miss it! Here are a couple of photos for you:
Would you like any information about the Quirra Castle?
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