I leave Bottidda, which has become the base of these days of mine in the shade of the castle, and I go up aiming right towards the pointed hill above which the medieval structure lays.
I cycle the road that passes underneath it, skirting the hill. I arrive at the crossroad and today I take the right instead (yesterday I turned left for Esporlatu) and enter Burgos.
As already happened in Marghine and Goceano, from the entrance sign of the villages to the centre there is always a steep climb. Modern houses, then gradually they become older and once I arrive in the central square, with a beautiful granite fountain and the war memorial, I see the medieval features of this village.
One of the narrow streets that starts from the square reveals the view of the castle. I take it and follow the signs for the ticket office, going into narrower and narrower streets, where the cars pass, also in two ways, until a small traffic jam is created and I have to wait a little before it clears!
I arrive at the Castles Museum, which I visit, reading the medieval history of Sardinia and its fortresses. Here, there is an ethnographic museum section, with the usual objects of past life and works, and an exhibition of stones. They are Salvatore Craba’s ‘nuragic birds’, “found” stones, which have been given two touches of paint that make them look like birds. The museum staff kindly gives me one as a gift.
We head towards the base of the castle. I go up a series of steps until I reach the entrance. I turn around and the village of Burgos is all down there. Within the walls, skirting the high tower, almost completely rebuilt, and I walk inside, glimpsing the distant landscape through the windows.
I exit the main walls and go around the ring walk outside, and it is here that the panorama extends on each side. Below me also the village of Bottidda, and on the other side Esporlatu. I stop to admire the whole plain below, and beyond this the mountains of Nuoro, an incredible overview of territories that I have visited, already 10 months ago now.
I go back to the village for a quick tour to hunt for glimpses to photograph. The streets are very intricate, in some cars cannot even pass so narrow they are. I pass under arches, enter alleys that then end up in houses, with no way out.
I go back, I find an inscription “Museum of Contemporary Art” with some original murals on the outside walls. I knock on both the door and the house next door but nobody answers. I continue the tour arriving up to the outermost road that I take to go down towards Bottidda.
SARDINIAN SHORT STORIES
On one of the streets, a rather fast waste truck comes towards me in the opposite direction. The driver looks at me and gives me a kind of smile. I go further, a bit angry thinking that it was going too fast. I stand in a small square when the garbage truck come over again. It stops. The driver asks me “are you Dessanay?”. Yes, I answer. “I’m Tonino, I got in touch to offer you hospitality ages ago. I’m sorry if I didn’t get back in touch, next week I’m getting married and I was super messed up! ”. We end up having a coffee at the bar!
Medieval castles of Sardinia. Burgos is just one of many, more than 80 medieval castles, some built on previous plants, existing in Sardinia. Today almost all are ruins, but some were preserved better than others. At the museum I finally have the complete picture, with a beautiful panel divided into the four Giudicati, the ‘administrations’ of the time, real “states”, those of Torres, Gallura, Arborea and Cagliari. Each owned a series of castles, some on the borders between the Giudicati themselves, for protective purposes, others real stately homes. During this trip I have already found several.
Burgos castle was part of the Giudicato of Torres, built at the behest of Judge Gonario II de Lacon-Gunale, then it passed into various hands, Pisan, Genoese with the Dorias and finally to the Aragonese who let it fall into ruin. This is often the same fate as other castles. I want to mention some other castles I have already visited during this trip: the Pedres Castle just outside Olbia, once in the Giudicato of Gallura, and the Castello di Acquafredda in Siliqua, once in the Giudicato of Calari. Despite having also touched places in the Giudicato of Arborea, with traces of walls like in Oristano, the best castles of the latter will be among the mandatory destinations in the coming months!