Nuraghe Palmavera is a complex nuraghe surrounded by a nuragic village. It is located at the foot of the mountain, near the sea along the road from Alghero to Porto Conte. It is one of the famous nuraghi of Sardinia where extensive archaeological research has been performed.
In the northwestern part of Sardinia lies the fertile plain of the Nurra. The plain stretches from Porto Torres in the north to Alghero in the south and is rich in bronze age remains, mainly nuraghi. One of the most prominent sites is that of muraghe Palmavera, west of Alghero. It is a complex nuraghe with a surrounding village that has been largely excavated. The site is a fine example of bronze age architecture and can be easily reached as it lies on the road from Alghero to Porto Conte, at the foot of the mountain. The first excavations were performed by Taramelli, and have been followed by several excavations after the last great war.
The nuraghe consists of two towers and bastions. There are two entrances, the one on the eastside gives access to a corridor and niches that finishes in the small courtyard. From the courtyard there is access to the two towers. The main tower, built in limestone, has a round chamber with two niches and an intact tholos vault. The secondary tower, built in sandstone and of a later period, has the characteristic loopholes, small windows in the thick walls where light and fresh air would enter. The chamber is now open to the sky. The staircases to the higher bastions are closed for security reasons. Originally the central tower must have had an upper chamber and was it possible to walk on the bastions that enclosed also the main tower. On the southside of the courtyard is the second entrance.
The nuraghe is surrounded by a pentagonal perimeter wall with huts on three of the five corners, enclosing a large hut on the south side that has been interpreted as the hut of the reunions (or assembly). Within the pentagonal perimeter wall a small pit has been found, marked by a circle of stones, probably this was used for storage.
The hut of the Assembly
The hut of the Assembly probably played an important part in the late bronze age and early Iron age communities. In the middle of this hut a model of a nuraghe was found that would have been a symbol of heroic ancestors who built the numerous nuraghi. The model that has been placed there now is a copy, the original has been transferred to the museum at Sassari. Another cilindrical stone was found that is interpreted as a throne because of the position next to the lustral bassin that was placed near the wall. Characteristic for this type of hut, found also elsewhere in Sardinia in similar contexts, is the circular bench placed all around against the wall where probably the assembly, the important members of the community, would sit.
Outside the pentagonal perimeter wall a large number of huts have been uncovered during excavations. Some are plain circular huts, others more complex with a number of huts around a small open place. These more complex huts are from the Iron age when nuraghi had become the symbolic and religious center of the communities. In one hut an interred jar was found, used for the conservation of food or liquids and covered with a stone. Not far from the site two Tombe di Giganti have been found that would have been related to the nuraghe.
Address: Nuraghe Palmavera, SS 127 bis, km 45.450 - 07041 Alghero (SS)
Tel: +39 3294385947, 3490871972, 3490871963
Openingtimes: may-september 9.00-19.00; april and october 9.00-18.00; november-march 10.00-14.00
Prices: Euro 5,00 (Euro 8,00 Necropolis of Anghelu Ruju and Nuraghe Palmavera combined), reduced Euro 4,00 under conditions
Website: Nuraghe Palmavera
Guided tours are available
The information has been updated for 2018 but prices and opening hours may vary.