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The first examples in Sardinia of what we usually call “architecture” date back to about 4000 BC, and are related to the culture of Bonu Ighinu. These are the first “artificial cave” tombs, which unequivocally testify to the emergence of the need to modify the natural space in which human beings lived.

With the subsequent culture of Ozieri, this need is manifested in an even more striking form, with the so-called domus de janas, the “allées couvertes”, the megalithic circles, the dolmens and the menhirs.

In the Nuragic era, at the end of the Old Bronze Age, the first protonuraghi appeared, while during the Middle Bronze Age, the first real nuraghi began to be built, consisting of a tower with a circular plan and with a profile that narrows upwards. In the recent and final Bronze Age, the shape of the nuraghe evolved and real fortresses were built, around which villages developed. Nuragic architecture also elaborates the tombs of giants, sanctuaries and well temples.

With the arrival of the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians, the first urban civilization was born in Sardinia, with buildings built not only of stone, but also with raw bricks and mud mortar. Sacred buildings are represented in Sardinia by numerous testimonies, as is funerary architecture (chamber tombs).
During the period of Roman domination, the main cities of the island experienced the architectural types related to public, civil and religious buildings typical of the Roman world (forum, theater, temples and baths), as evidenced by the examples of Cagliari, Nora, Tharros and Turris Libisonis (Porto Torres).

The architecture following the crisis of the Roman Empire is represented, essentially, by a building activity linked to the sacred area, as witnessed by the early Christian and Byzantine churches.

From the middle of the eleventh century, when the island was now divided into four judicial kingdoms, Romanesque architecture began to flourish, with the construction of churches and monasteries made of local lithic material (limestone, volcanite, granite, basalt, sometimes combined to create chromatic contrasts).

With the entry of Genoa and Pisa into Sardinian history, the cities of the island were enriched with walls, towers and bastions, while from the 14th century, with the conquest of the island by the Aragonese, the Gothic-Catalan forms were introduced.

This language persisted for a long time, intertwined with mannerist and baroque forms, until the advent of neoclassical architecture in the nineteenth century. These are the premises for the eclecticism of styles, which characterized the early twentieth century.
During the fascist twenty years, there are important examples of rationalist buildings. In the post-war period, regardless of the interventions dictated by the urgency of reconstruction, examples emerged dictated by an intelligent enhancement of urban spaces and by the most modern architectural research.


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