Alghero Vecchia, historical centre.
The historical centre of Alghero – the city known in the local Catalan dialect as Alguer – has a mediaeval plan characterised by narrow, haphazard streets. It is very much like an open-air museum: artistic craft boutiques jostle with authentic restaurants, monuments of great historical and artistic value, aristocratic palazzos, churches and cathedrals, all set against a complex Romanesque-Gothic backdrop. Alghero Vecchio (as the locals call the oldest part of the settlement) is a fortified city surrounded by six great Catalan towers linked together by immense bastions, which for centuries served to defend the city against attacks by sea and today dominate the bay.
Santa Maria Cathedral
The church, built in the mid-16th century, retains a number of Catalan-Gothic period features, including the 8-storey bell tower and the Gothic portal of the apse. The remainder of the elements date from subsequent epochs.
Originally named Porta Reial, this gate was the main entrance to the city, and was adorned with the Aragonese coat-of-arms, which is today conserved within. The gate, which was closed at dusk, afforded access to the city by land until the end of the 19th century.
The tower is characterised by the presence of a buttress in the fortification, situated close to the tower.
It takes its name from the imprisonment of Vincenzo Sulis, the revolutionary from Cagliari who spent 22 years in isolation there.
The tower was constructed in the first half of the 16th century and constituted one of the bulwarks in the fortifications of Alghero.