Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Nuragic Sanctuaries & Sacred Wells in Sardinia

Archaeologists believe,  based on archaeological evidence and  the remarks of a few classical writers, that Nuragic religion centred on water. Water was not only a basic requirement for the continuation of life, it was also heavily imbued with symbolic meaning. Much of Nuragic religious architecture appears to have been focussed on springs and wells. Sanctuaries, in many cases quite substantial spiritual complexes, were constructed around sacred wells. Although each is noticeably different in character, there are many  architectural features at these sites that are the same throughout the island. 

Romanzesu Archaeological Area

Built around the 16th century BC, this is undoubtedly one of the most iconic sanctuary-villages of Nuragic Sardinia. It is located within a forest of cork trees that contributes to the atmosphere of great sacredness. The first investigations in the area began in 1919, with the discovery of the sacred well. In addition to the presence of a hundred or so huts, there are several structures that express the spirituality of the centre. The stepped ritual pool connected to the well, once a place of gathering of the community, the hut of the labyrinth, and the tomb of the hero, are only some of the places that can be visited.

Sacred Well of Predio Canopoli

In the town of Pefugas, opposite the church of Saint Mary of the Angels, is a Nuragic Sacred Well dating to the Middle Bronze Age. It was discovered in 1923 by the owner of the land, Domenico Canopoli. It represents one of the finest examples of Nuragic architecture of this type, with its perfectly squared white limestone blocks and geometric shapes. A small vestibule leads to the eight steps that descend towards the central chamber, in which the pool is located. The well is surrounded by the ruins of the Nuragic village, over which the town has built up over the years. To get a guided tour within the fenced enclosure, make an appointment at the Archaeological and Paleobotanical Museum of Perfugas.

The Nuragic Sanctuary of Santa Vittoria

Located on a plateau with expansive views of the surrounding area. It is the largest Nuragic village/sanctuary complex in Sardinia, where what remains of the structures, even thousands of years later, manages to express the power and importance of the site. The area that can be visited is large, consisting of several parts. The oldest of which is a proto-nuraghe dating between the 17th and 14th centuries BC. During a pleasant walk, visitors can explore the remains of the village, in which the huge dimensions of the meeting hut, the sacred well, and the large festival enclosure that once housed pilgrims during festivals in honour of the deity stand out.