Castle of Monreale – Sardara, Sardinia, Italy
Sardara is a comune in the Province of South Sardinia in the Italian region Sardinia, located about 50 kilometres northwest of Cagliari and about 8 kilometres northwest of Sanluri.
Monreale Castle is located near Sardara. It is situated on top of a hill, at a height of about 280 meters above sea level. Its position allows a view of the entire Campidano plain as far as Cagliari.
Within the walls was the village and a small church named after St. Michael. The wall enclosed an area of about 4.6 hectares.
The castle of Monreale to this day is in a state of total abandonment. From 1987 to 2011, nine restoration and consolidation campaigns took place, which over time allowed the monument to be better preserved and brought to light the village below the hill.
It is supposed to have been built between the late 9th and early 10th centuries.
In 1324 there is the first attestation of Monreale’s use as a royal residence, the year in which Ugone II of Arborea, camped near Pabillonis confronted and defeated in battle the Pisans in the territory of Sardara and Sanluri.
The fortress reached the height of its splendor with Eleanor of Arborea, who succeeded her brother Ugone III.
After the defeat at the Battle of Sanluri (June 30, 1409), the last Arborean judge William III of Narbona found refuge here.
The castle was used as a magistrate’s prison until the 17th century.