St. Elia Tower

St. Elia Tower

This element belongs to the categories: Towers

Remains of a watchtower and lighthouse, built by the Pisans in 1282. Later, it was included by the Spaniards in the coastal defensive system, designed to secure the island against raid or attack from the sea.
St. Elia Tower

The Tower of Saint Elia, also called the Lantern’s Tower, was built in 1282 by the Pisans on commission of Bondo Camulitano and Colo Frapano, castellans of the Castrum of Cagliari in that time.

It is located on the top of the Saint Elia’s promontory, near the church erected in honour of Elia, and made it possible to control all the sea space in front of it, ensuring visual connection with the other towers built along the coast of the gulf.

Manned by two guardians (later called "torrieri" during the subsequent Royal Administration of the Towers) it served as a lighthouse and guard tower.

A seventeenth-century manuscript describes the need for the timely identification and reporting of the Genoese canal which, at that time, frequently crossed those waters threateningly. It seems that the subject of the inspections of the time was, among other things, the quantity of wood collected and stored near the tower.

In this place, signalling fires were kept lit with which the Castrum of Cagliari - still without the Towers of the Eagle, of the Elephant and of the Lion - had to be alerted to the presence of the enemy ship. In addition to the defensive military function, the tower was designed to signal the right route to the boats to follow to reach the port. It was decommissioned in the late 18th century after the French landing attempt (1793/94).

Currently the tower is in a very bad state of conservation.

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