Prezzemolo Tower

Prezzemolo Tower

This element belongs to the categories: Garrison defence, Towers

Watchtower dating back to the 16th century, built by the Spaniards as part of the coastal defense system, designed to protect the island from raids and attacks from the sea.
Prezzemolo Tower

"The Tower of Parsley” is located just outside the village of Sant'Elia. It can be reached by car by following the dirt road, or along Calamosca Avenue and then continue on foot in the direction of the tower.

The tower is part of the main works on the coastal fortifications in Sardinia, it guarded the beach below and the Lazzaretto area, to report any incursions towards the salt pans. It was also in visual contact with the nearby towers of Calamosca, Cala Fighera, Sant'Elia and the fortifications of Cagliari. Being about 34 m above sea level, it had an optical range of about 23 km.

The tower varied various denominations over the centuries, starting with the toponym "Capo Bernat" or also "Cala Bernat" or "San Bernardo" in Spanish times. In the eighteenth century it was called "di Santo Stefano detta del Lazzaretto", "de la Prajola" (of the beach), "Vecchia" in the twentieth century. The current name "del Prezzemolo" or "de su Perdusemini" or "Petro Semolo", already attested in the XVIII-XIX century, is actually borrowed from the tower of Cala Fighera, according to a 1740 document.

The construction of the tower at Capo Bernat dates back to 1578, when there was also the one of Calamosca, and they were both controlled by the city of Caller. But already in 1597, the Capo Bernat tower was restored. At the time, the garrison consisted of two towers. A further restoration was done in 1605, when a hanging balcony was placed in the entrance. In 1606 and 1615 the garrison was increased.

The “Torre del Prezzemolo” is a construction with a classic trunk shape but with reduced dimensions. Among the coastal towers it is the smaller one, with a foundation diameter of just 4.5 m and a residual height of 11 m. This is due to the site where it was built, a rocky outcrop with access from a single direction, close to the cove below.

The tower, intended only for the sighting function, was called "torrezilla".

In 1638, when the nearby Tower of Calamosca came back into operation, the Torre del Prezzemolo was discharged and no longer appears in the official documents of the 17th and 18th centuries. Although a Torre del Lazzaretto appears in the report of Cagnoli, the Commissioner of Artillery, Factories and Fortifications, in 1720. However, only in 1772 was it rearmed as a post for riflemen and as support for a light infantry company.

In 1793, on the occasion of the French attack, the engineer Lorenzo arranged a small battery of cannons behind the tower, thanks to which the landing on the beach below was avoided. After this episode, however, the tower was definitively abandoned.

It was restored only in December 1916 and in 1967 the rock on which it stands was propped up, to avoid its flaking.


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