Palabanda Plot Commemorative Plaque

Palabanda Plot Commemorative Plaque

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Plaque commemorating those who conspired against the government of king Vittorio Emanuele I of Savoy, in 1812. Unmasked, caught and sentenced to death, today they are remembered as champions of the cause of freedom for Sardinian people.
Palabanda Plot Commemorative Plaque

In 1812, Sardinia was hit by a long period of drought which destroyed the crops and caused a serious famine coinciding with a smallpox epidemic; thousands of people died of hunger and disease.

Cagliari was reigned by Vittorio Emanuele I, residing there with his retinue and new taxes were imposed on the Sardinian people to cover the costs of the forced stay of the Savoy court.

In this already tragic situation, with the lords who became increasingly wealthy thanks to the sale of hoarded products and the public officials who used their powers to enrich their assets, the revolt immediately took root in the desperate people.

The conspirators met in Stampace, on a farm owned by the lawyer Salvatore Cadeddu, secretary of the University, located in the town of Palabanda, in the area where the Botanical Garden stands today. There were both middle-class citizens but also commoners and their intent was only to drive out public officials and courtiers who were bringing Sardinia to a catastrophe, it was not a revolt against the sovereign and the monarchy.

The insurrection was set for October 30, 1812 and it involved the assault on the barracks of the Royal Navy, to enter the Castle occupying the most strategic places, arresting the commander of the city, Giacomo Pes of Villamarina, and expelling the courtiers and public officials protecting the king and his family.

But the news came to the tax lawyer Raimondo Garau who informed the king and the Colonel Villamarina, who ordered an intense vigilance.

On the day set for the revolt, while numerous patrols of soldiers controlled the city, some conspirators and the baker Floris were sent to call others on hold, but they came across a patrol of Piedmontese and, frightened, they came back warning the colleagues who for the most part gave up the endeavour.

Meanwhile, the conspirators in the Marina district, not seeing the Stampacini, doubtful and fearful, sent Giovanni Putzolu with some companions to understand what was going on, but they met Colonel Villamarina, who came down from Castello to watch in person and Putzolu, panicked, aimed a pistol at the commander but his friends themselves prevented him from shooting.

Putzolu and Sorgia were immediately arrested and, on 13 May 1813, after a rapid trial, hanged. Cadeddu, Fanni, Zedda and Garau judged in absentia, suffered the same sentence; to Floris was imposed life imprisonment; Salvatore Cadeddu, captured in the Iglesiente area, was hanged on 2 September.

In the central square of the Botanical Garden there is a monument in memory of the conspirators of Palabanda as liberators of Sardinia and for having been punished too severely.

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