Acquerello - Alghero fine '800


From Dorians to the pearl of Sardinian tourism...

Alghero > History

Alghero was born in the XII century as a genovese family colony sent from the powerful Dorian dinasty. The center developed flourishingly thanks to the favorable climate conditions and the presence of a fixed harbor which allowed to keep safely the boats.

In truth the area was populated until the ancient Neolithic. This fact is proved because of the Grotta Verde pottery discovery close to Capo Caccia dated from 2500-2000 B.C. Even the Nuragic civilization left numerous rests. A hundred of nuraghi fill the territory. Among these, the nuragic complexes Palmavera and Sant'Imbenia are the most meaningful nuragic monuments from the island. Close to Sant’Imbenia there are some necropolis rests of Phoenician origin and there is the probable attendance on this section of coast by the Phoenicians. After the first Punic war, the Romans installed in Porto Conte.

The thesis according to which Alghero’s name derived from Aliga (alga) is firmly discussed nowadays. Many factors suppose an earlier frequency by the Islamic population. According to the supporters of this thesis the name "Alghero" derives from Al Giazir (port with island). More or less like the Algiers city in the North African coast.

It is certain that the urban center grew with the first fortification built because of the powerful Doria family will to the protectorate of Genoa Republic and it remained in the system of the powerful seafaring republic until 1353.
Map of the territory of Alghero outlined within its borders from the royal privilege granted by King Peter of Aragon in 1360. 1758 (State Archives of Turin)
In August of that year the Aragonese besieged the city. The genovese navy intervened to guard the city but the Aragonese triumphed.
After a bloody naval fight close to Porto Conte, Alghero was taken over by Peter IV of Aragon.

In the sixteenth century the city took the features which we know nowadays.
Coast towers and fortresses were built because of the defense against barbarian pirates' raids.
This way the city became Aragonese military outpost guarde from Capo di Sopra (Northern Sardinia).

Carta topografica della Nurra (1742), in castigliano

The XVII century coincided with city’s decline, known as the crisis of Aragon’s crown and to the fact that the Ciutad de l'Alguer was becoming less military important in the Mediterranean. Furthermore frightful shortage was near to divide in half the population. Therefore decreased the Catalans percentage in favor to Sardinian. It still Catalan language corruption which maintained untouched its structure.

Since 1708 the city went under the Austrian rule. For about a decade the Austrian conceded Sardinia to Piedmontese in change of Sicily. The Piedmontese influence period was marked by scarcity and consequent hungry population rebellions which were pressed with force. In 1821 were sentenced to death 32 rebels because of participating in a popular revolt for the umpteenth famine.
Alghero, bastion. Before 1905. (ISRE)
During the fascist era the zone was restored in the swamplands and the territory fractioned in farms. That favored undoubtedly the development of the agriculture and the origin of some rural small villages like Fertilia and Santa Maria La Palma.
But only after the war Alghero discovered in advance to whole the island its innate touristic vocation.
Alghero, Lido di San Giovanni. (Municipality of Alghero)