The Moon well

Used as a place dedicated to the cult of the Moon and water, the well of Saint Cristina, which dates from the 11th century B.C. and takes its name from a small church nearby, is the most representative of the forty present in Sardinia. The well consists of a central stairway covered by a tiered ceiling that creates an extraordinary effect by reproducing a sort of upside-down staircase. The stairway leads to the omphalos, which is the chamber where the water collects. It seems that the god of the nuragic populations lived in the water and special purification ceremonies were held here. The cover of the well, of the type known as a tholos, is a false dome with a hole at the top. The particular notoriety of this monument derives from the refined techniques used by the nuragic builders 3000 years ago, the precise cuts and the joints between the large basaltic stones. Every eighteen and a half years, that is every lunar year, when the Moon is at its maximum declination, the moonlight reflects directly into the water of the well. The optical effect on this particular day does not occur by chance: the stairway that mirrors the steps leading down to the well seems to turn upside down and any person walking down the steps seems almost to be walking up to the sky. But this is not all: the well was positioned in such a way that the Sun would illuminate the stairway and hit the water during the equinoxes.

The Moon well

The area

Paulilatino lies in the southern part of the vast basaltic plateau of Abbasanta, bordered on the north by Campeda and to the west by Montiferru and Planaria, in the province of Oristano. Rich in water, the area has a charming beauty, harsh but sweet at the same time, with wild ridges of basaltic outcrops and luxuriant vegetation consisting of wild olive and oak trees and Mediterranean maquis. The village still preserves, in part, the typical features of the towns and villages of inland Sardinia, with low houses made of black basalt that take on an almost fairy-tale appearance. Next to the entrances you can still find the standing blocks that were used for mounting the horses and the hitching rings for tying up the animals.

Useful information

Town Hall viale della Libertà 33 tel. 078555438, 078555686, 078555623
Coop Archeotour Paulilatino (guide)

Visualizzazione ingrandita della mappa

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