The history of Cuglieri

Human presence on the territory of Cuglieri goes back the Neolithic era, thanks to the closeness with the sea, the abundance of perennial water courses and game. The Domus de Janas of Serruggiu, Pittudi and Fane Massa go back to this period (7'500/3'000 BCE). The dolmen of Monte Laccana and many others scattered through the slopes of the Montiferru date back to the Megalithic era (2'000/1'700 BCE).

In Historical times, the Phoenicians landed on the coast. In Santa Caterina had risen the city of Cornus, first a Phoenician colony, then important military garrison and carthaginian commercial stopover. The fight between Rome and Cartages for the supremacy on the Mediterranean sees Cornus as the protagonist for the defense of the Sardo-Punic people against the roman army, which was eventually victorious. Cuglieri most likely kept on being an important commercial center on the road in-between Othoca, Tharros, Bosa, Garbia and Turris. In the following centuries, the population migrated and founded "Gurulis Nova", the current centers of Cuglieri and Santa Caterina, which was largely abandoned following Saracen incursions.

They the built Castle of Montiferru during the XII century (today called Casteddu Ezzu) to defend themselves from the Judicate of Torres. During the XIII century, the castle, alongside the curie of Montiferru, which had Cuglieri as chief town, was annexed by Mariano II to the Judicate of Arborea. In the year 1400, the fief of Cuglieri was constituted, first by Guillelmo di Montagnana then by Raymond Zatrillas. The fief, then made into a barony, stayed in possession of the Zatrillas family unti 1670 when it was abandoned. In 1720 Sardinia passed under the domination of Savoie and in 1807 it became chief town of one of the 15 Sardinian provinces and included the communes of Sennariolo, Scano Montiferro, Tresaghes, Flussio, Tinnura, Magomadas, Sagama, Modolo, Bosa, Montredia, Sunsta, Bortigali, Birori, Borore, Dualchi, Lei, Macomer, Mulargia, Noragugume, Silanus, S.Lussurgiu, Bonarcado and Seneghe.

At the beginning of the XXth century, Cuglieri, although it had lost its role of province chief town, is a prosper city. It benefitted from public services such as a poste office and the bank and it was even the headquarters of the carabinieri. All of the village had access to water, sewage system, public lightning and a variety of commerce: fabric, furniture and food stores, barbers and shoemakers, tobacconists and bars (zilleri), as well as a carriage rental and an inn. The commune was connected to Oristano by a national road, and by a provincial road to S. Lussurgiu, and Scano Montiferru. In Tresnuraghes, where the administration had opened a train station, was also a daily mail service. The surroundings of Cuglieri were crowned with olive trees which occupied more than 500 hectares of land. The pastures were rich: cattle, sheep and goats were raised; there were two cheese factories, many water mills for cereals, and three tanneries. In 1927, Cuglieri became the seat of the Regional Pontifical Seminary, an important ecclesiastical institution that flourished until its closure in 1970. The former residence is now the property of the Region of Sardinia.

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