(Cattedrale di Santa Maria, Campanile, Cagliari.)
It was founded by the Pisans in the 13th century as a strong and impregnable fortress. Throughout history the Castello quarter (Kastrum Karalis, as it was called in documents of the Pisan era), played a leading role in the town’s life.
In every epoch and under every domination, Castello has always been the seat of temporal and ecclesiastical power. Nowadays there is still ample and concrete evidence of this. The fortress was enclosed by massive walls and the access points to the citadel could be strategically garrisoned by means of a series of towers and bastions.
The Torre dell’Elefante and the Torre di San Pancrazio, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria and the Bastion of Saint Remy are the legacy of the Pisan era.
Later on, the Aragonese further enriched the quarter, an example being the royal palace, seat of the Viceroy of Spain, which even today houses the offices of the public administration. Castello is also home to the original buildings of the University and its present-day administrative offices. This site was considerably enlarged under the Piedmontese government.
In the 19th and in the early 20th century, the Bastione’s terrace, its covered walkway and the Teatro Civico were venues which attracted the town’s middle-class and intelligentsia, where ideas could be aired and exchanged.