Alghero was founded in the XII century by the powerful Doria family, who ably exploited the strategic location of Alghero, there building one of the most important examples of military architecture on the island. Despite the various re-workings, the fortifications remain a distinctive presence today, with the defence towers framing the ominous yet harmonious architectonic seafront design. The town has been occupied by various colonists over the years, but it was the Pisa domination that really altered both the look and spirit of the town, particularly as concerns the language. In 1354 the expansion policy of the Crown of Aragon reached Alghero, which, by the hand of Peter IV the Ceremonious, was then purged and transformed, in just a short space of time, into one of the many colonies that orbited around the central power of the kingdom. The important examples of Gothic-Catalan architecture located within the urban nucleus, form a unique, lavish, and indelible proof of the Catalan past. The linguistic heritage is yet more surprising: the local variant of Catalan – algherese – is ever more alive and spoken amongst today’s inhabitants. Although Alguer was founded only relatively ‘recently’, the surrounding area is dotted with settlements of remote and historically important origin, as borne out by the imposing nuragic complex of Palmavera, and that discovered in Sant’Imbenia during the 1980s. Right next to the Sant’Imbenia complex, located in the enchanting bay of Porto Conte (the only natural harbour in Sardinia), we find the remains of a villa dating back to Roman times, and that can still be seen today.
Ex Complesso Santa Chiara: it is an historical complex started in 1641 with the built of the omonim church, next to the S. Croce ancient church, in the northern part of the city. After many works and extensions between the XVIII and XIX centuries, in 1912 the new rectangular shaped Ospedale della misericordia is built close to the old monastery. The set of building has been used as an hospital until 1970. After that it lived in a state of abandon for over thirty years. Afterwards it has been completely renovate and reorganized and it now hosts the Faculty of Architecture branch of Università degli Studi di Sassari.