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The village foundation
Tradition has it that the village of Castelsardo was founded by the Doria family in around 1100, changing its name in accordance with those occupying it at the time: from "Castelgenovese" under the Doria family rule, it became "Castellaragonese" following the 1449 Spanish occupation.
It was, in fact, only in 1767 that Carlo Emanuele di Savoia gave it the place name we recognise today.

This small town (5,200 inhabitants) clinging to a promontory spread out towards the gulf of Asinara, is a member of the prestigious association of the most beautiful villages of Italy, and with good reason: the view of the fortified centre that looks over the sea with its castle, truly is wonderfully spectacular.

Few towns have proven themselves as able as Castelsardo has, of valuing their historic and cultural heritage, in terms of dynamicity, and enjoyment by visitors.
Amongst the various important projects, we would mention the itinerary of the seven royal towns of Sardinia, which also involved a further six important island centres (Alghero, Bosa, Cagliari, Iglesias, Oristano and Sassari).

Artistic and architectonic heritage
Episcopal headquarters from 1503 to 1839, Castelsardo offers visitors a breathtaking route through the network of streets and paths of the village, laid out on the promontory, and which culminates with the dominating presence of the castle.
The "Museo dell'Intreccio Mediterraneo" (Mediterranean Basket Weaving Museum) within the manor house, and the diocesan museum located within the cathedral, that is also the headquarters of the ancient Ampurias Dioceses of St.Antonio Abate, are well worth visiting.
Built between 1586 and 1607 on top of the previous Romanesque building, the church is beautifully set within the mediaeval centre, lying on the steep slope of the promontory, facing the gulf of Asinara.
It is a rare treasure chest of works of art. Inside, we can admire works by the famous master from Castelsardo.
The polyptych of the Madonna with the musical angels is important for the history of Sardinia, as it puts it well within the new Italian renaissance artistic tempers and the Flemish masters.

Along the route leading through the intricate streets of the centre, we pause for a break near to the spectacular viewpoint along the Spanish Bastion walls, from where we can see the defence towers of Porta a Mare, along the city walls.

Tradition and religion
The Easter procession of Lunissanti is well worth seeing.
Each station (there are ten living mysteries that parade in the procession) is emphasised by the exciting and ancient choral polyphonies.
On the Friday, Jesus is taken down from the Cross (il cravamentu).

Other important events are those organised by the town hall for Easter Monday.
For years now, Castelsardo has greeted the thousands of tourists, and particularly the younger tourists, who flock to the area to see the aperitif concerts held within the castle, and the picnic concerts that take place on the lawn.
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