Nuraghe la Prisgiona, also known as “The Stone Giant,” is often considered one of the finest examples of Nuragic architecture in northern Sardinia. You really don’t want to miss this archaeological site, especially if you are planning a trip to the northern part of the island.
Nuraghe are a testimony of the ancient population that lived in Sardinia, known as the Nuragic civilization. These people survived pretty much until the arrival of the Roman Empire. The word “nuraghe” means “mount of stones,” and it perfectly depicts these particular stone structures that can be found only in Sardinia.
To know more about nuraghe, you can check my post A Guide To Nuraghe In Sardinia. Otherwise, continue reading if you want more information on Nuraghe la Prisgiona.
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The History And Architecture Of Nuraghe La Prisgiona
Located in a natural reserve near the town of Arzachena, the Nuraghe la Prisgiona was part of a larger city of the ancient Nuragic civilization. It was inhabited from the 14th century BC until the Roman colonization in the 9th century BC. The site was finally open to the public only in 2009. Excavations that started 2008 suggested that Romans used the complex for some time. It was also used in the medieval age for some purposes.
After a five-year hiatus, the excavation resumed in 2013, focusing on the huts in the village in order to find out more about the political and social life of Nuraghe la Prisgiona, and to have a deeper insight on the Nuragic civilization in general.
The complex structure of La Prisgiona is uncommon in the norther part of Sardinia. The Nuraghe is formed by a main tower and two side towers, linked to a bastion. The bastion probably served as a defence against possible attackers. The towers and the bastion encircle the area of the Nuraghe, which was used to supply water through a well.
This 8 meters (little over 26 feet) deep water well is quite a technological feat, since it allowed the storage of underground waters. The well is still active nowadays, a true testimony of the crafting skills of the Nuragic civilization. Many artifacts where discovered at the bottom of the well, such as decorated pitchers and vases with paintings of the Sardinian landscape. It is still unknown why citizens dropped vases and pitchers in the well, but their shape and decorations suggest that those vases were a part of rituals or used for religious purposes.
Nuraghe La Prisgiona is a great example of how the Nuragic civilization mastered complex building techniques. The central tower originally had two floors and a false dome, where various safety measures where applied in order to avoid the collapse of the structure. According to archaeological studies, the main chamber was used to host public events for the community that inhabited the city, such as ceremonies or meetings.
The area facing the bastion hosts around 100 huts, many of them still underground. According to the archaeologist that worked on the site, an important Nuragic community inhabited the city. The organization of the city was pretty advanced for that time: some of the huts were used to store food, while others were used by artisans in order to create products. Recent studies have proven that these products were made for the community, but also for commerce with other Mediterranean civilizations.
Among the huts, a circular building near the well strikes as one of the most important. The discovery of a particular vase inside the building and a circular stone bench with 16 seats, suggests that only leaders or important citizens were allowed inside. The depiction of the Sardinian landscape on the vase, suggests that only by a close circle of people used the vase, probably to share beverages.
Practical Information For Visiting Nuraghe La Prisgiona
How to get to Nuraghe la Prisigiona
Nuraghe la Prisgiona is close to Arzachena, the main small city in the Costa Smeralda region, so you can easily get to the archaeological site in 10 minutes by car. From Arzachena, take the road to Sant’Antonio di Gallura, and you will find the directions for the Nuraghe la Prisgiona site after a few kilometers.
You can also easily get to the nuraghe from Olbia and Santa Teresa Gallura. Once again, the best way to get there is by car, since the trip by bus will take more than 2 hours. From Olbia it will take approximately 35 minutes by car, while it is a 45 minutes trip from Santa Teresa Gallura.
Don’t want to rent a car? You may want to join a private guided tour that has the option of stopping at the nuraghe. You can book it here.
Nuraghe la Prisgiona opening hours
In the winter months, La Prisgiona is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
During the summer, it is open every day from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Tickets and tours
The admission fee to Nuraghe la Prisgiona is €4,00 for adults. It is free to enter for residents and kids up to 12 years of age. If you intend to visit more sites in the archeological park where this nuraghe is located, you may want to consider buying a combo ticket for €7,00 that includes a visit to two of the seven archaeological sites of the Arzachena Archaeological Park.
For groups with more of 20 people, the ticket for Nuraghe la Prisgiona costs €3,00, while the basic combo ticket costs €6,00.
You can also choose to buy a full ticket to visit all the seven sites of the Archelogical Park. This ticket costs €20,00 for adults and €17,00 for groups.
Guided tours are available for the nuraghe and the giants’ tomb. You need to send an email to [email protected] detailing how many people are in the group, the date and time of arrival, and the language of the tour. They will give you a quote.
Other nearby places to visit
If you buy a combo ticket for Nuraghe la Prisgiona, be sure to visit these other two archaeological sites:
Tomba dei Giganti di Coddu ‘Ecchju – this Giant’s Tomb is a great example of the Nuragic funerary architecture and it is located at 1 km from Nuraghe la Prisgiona, and there is an easy trail to follow that connects the site. The structure was used for the burial of the inhabitants of la Prisgiona, so it is deeply connected to the ancient city.
Tomba dei giganti Li Lolghi – a large funerary complex used for mass burial. Located on a hill, this tomb is one of the most suggestive places near Arzachena.
You may also want to consider walking the entire “path of the Giants” an easy hiking trail that will take you from Nuraghe la Prisgiona to the tomb of the giants of Coddu Vecchju, Li Lolghi and Moru.
Make sure to read my post Who Were The Giants Of Sardinia?
For more nuraghe to visit in Sardinia, check out these posts:
- The Most Interesting Archeological Sites In Sardinia
- A Guide To Su Nuraxi
- A Guide To Nuraghe Palmavera