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Ogliastra’s historical and archeological heritage enjoys general interest and is the reason why tourists choose it every year as their holiday destination. The municipal districts of Baunei, Santa Maria Navarrese, Lotzorai, Tortolì and Arbatax, are characterized by fascinating archeological sites to visit. The nuraghi complex named “S’Arcu e is Forros” has a great importance. It was discovered at a short distance away from Corr'e Boi’s steep and it is composed by a big “megaron” temple and other buildings for cult and living which rise near a trilobated plan nuraghe located in Villagrande Strisaili. From Villagrande to Baunei, and from Baunei to the plain of the Golgo, you can find many items which demonstrate that humans have been living in this magnificent landscape since ancient times, without changing environmental balances. The cave of “Su Marinaiu” of “Cala Luna “is the only one that has revealed most ancient traces of humans in Baunei’s territory.

The cave in fact, has been peopled from the Aeneolithic up to the Bronze Age, as it is well represented by several obsidian findings, firestones and pottery. On the contrary, the bronze statues found in the upland of the Golgo, date back to the Nuraghi Age: A small ship with the appearance of a bovine, The resting archer, The soldier with a shield on his shoulders and a rapier in his hand. The Golgo is characterized by the abyss of “su sterru”, which has been initially explored in 1957 by the cave group of Nuoro. This wonderful abyss subsides for 270 meters into the bowels of the earth. The first 28 meters are in basaltic rocks while the deepest part is calcareous. The abyss used to be the place where elderly people got killed between ritual acquaintances and laughter similar to those celebrated by African people.

Every day there are curious locals and tourists who come and visit the site particularly for its natural beauty and for the magic of old sayings.
Just few hundred meters away from the abyss, you find “Piscinas”. This place is characterized by three basins that are now used to contain rainwater. Humans probably modified the basins in order to make metal work easier and also to profess magic rituals like the “Divine Judgment” of the ordeal of water. The abyss and Piscinas are extremely important historical and natural sites that become even more striking and mysterious for their charm and magic. Further evidences of primitive religion such as the erratic boulder with cup shaped cavities located next to the Church and, the anthropomorphic “betilo” of the Golgo can be found near Baunei, in Santa Maria Navarrese. The boulder is an altar rock with eleven cup shaped cavities and two engravings, one straight and the other one curved, which make the altar even more beautiful and mysterious.

The nuraghi are clearly represented in the upland of the Golgo. People who lived in the nuraghi used to stay in the upland and built imposing architectural works that come second only if compared to the Egyptian pyramids which have also stood up to time. Along the street that takes you to the magnificent Cala Sisine you can admire several Nuraghi such as the ones of Orgoduri, Coeserra, Alvo, Nuragheddu and Lopellai. Among these, the second one is probably better known. The area of “Doladorgiu” is characterized by the ruins of a fortalice nuraghe, opposite Coeserra, probably built to keep the upland under control and protect its access from the inside and from the sea, respectively from “Genna Arramene” and “Codula di Sisine”. The charm of the Golgo is confirmed also by the particular architecture used to build Saint Pietro’s country church, raised between XVII and XVIII century. The Saint is celebrated every year, at the end of June, and the feast is accompanied by a procession in traditional costumes with the sound of the “Launeddas” and of the accordion. Opposite the church you can easily see a meter high “betilo” that probably comes from a giant’s cave located close to the Nuraghe. If you look carefully, you’ll notice lower hills fallow one another close to the church. The shape of these hills isn’t natural but was obtained using basaltic boulders and the first inhabitants of the Golgo probably used these hills for agricultural purposes.

From Baunei to Santa Maria Navarrese, from the municipal district to the other closest tourist center of Ogliastra there is Lotzorai. As the areas bordering, Lotzorai has historical and archeological sites of interest such as “Medusa’s castle” and the “Domus de Janas” which are extremely representative even if they refer to two different periods of time. The castle’s name, Medusa, adds more mystery to the ruins since the history is almost entirely unknown and has been forgotten for centuries. The only thing that remains alive is the legend. There are several legends on the ruin and the scary rock in which the castle lays on. The castle was however a medieval fortress built on a Phoenician basement that is now in ruins. According to history and legend Medusa’s castle was a military outpost built in order to protect the port nearby which was presumably located in Girasole’s pound. Legends say that a queen lived and died here. From the castle you can admire the tourist centre of Lotzorai and the island of Ogliastra. The “Domus de Janas” are situated along the street that connects Lotzorai to Talana and at only 2300m away from Sardegna Holiday facilities in Lotzorai. The Domus de Janas, known as fairy houses or witch houses, are graves that have been excavated in the rock and in which the dead used to be buried into with the belief in an afterlife. As archeological studies have reported, the bodies were laid down in a fetal position with objects of common use and of their property placed around them. Next to the bodies, there was some food indispensable for the passage to the hereafter.

The precision with which the graves were built and the difficulty to carve such hard material as stone still remains a mystery. Once you visit them you’ll feel thrown back to the past and you’ll comprehend why our forefathers had chosen these places to bury the dead. A wonderful landscape surrounded by mystery and reigned by peace.


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