Aymerich Park

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

This is the largest urban park in Sardinia, on the border between the provinces of Oristano and Nuoro – a botanical paradise with rare plants and a place for nature lovers and trekkers.

In the historical territory of Sarcidano, visitors can plunge into an evocative pristine environment, full of exciting trails among countless plant species and medieval ruins; Aymerich park is, therefore, a 54-acre oasis that belonged to a family of marquises until 1990.
The author of this spectacular nature reserve was Don Ignazio Aymerich Ripoll, extremely passionate about botany, who imported rare plants in the mid-XIX century, after his frequent trips to the mainland and abroad.

A visit to this park is quite unusual as it actually takes place in the “heart” of a town, namely Laconi, a village 37 miles from Oristano and 56 miles from Cagliari. The visit would run along several avenues constantly blessed by the most refreshing and lively atmosphere. The itinerary starts from a luxuriant grove of holm oaks, common oaks, olive and carob trees, interspersed with natural cavities, and growing among streams, waterfalls, and lakes. There is also an extraordinary amount and variety of orchids, including the native “Ophris laconensis” and “sarcidanis”.
Among the tree-lined avenues, visitors you would come across peculiar plants, such as Pyracantha coccinea and Collectia cruciata, whose leaves look like fighter planes, as well as exotic plants, such as the majestic cedars of Lebanon and the Himalayas – specimens of exceptional size. There are also rare species, such as Corsican pines, pendulous beeches, magnolia grandiflora,, and Taxus baccata, also known as the “tree of death”. Water is the most dynamic feature of this park: it’s extremely abundant all year long and feeds several streams eventually merging into a beautiful “major waterfall” – one of the most intriguing attractions.

Visitors will also be mesmerized by the ruins of a medieval castle, built in the XIII century to protect the domains of Arborea and Cagliari and involved in some important battles between those two fiefdoms. Its main tower of Spanish inspiration was turned into a prison around the XVIII century. The rectangular building has two floors and an arched entrance with a barrel-vaulted passageway leading to a large courtyard.

The palace features doors and windows decorated with elegant Catalan-Gothic frames. A portico precedes a 114-ft long room divided into several different spaces. The upper floor was reserved to the nobles, while their servants lived below.

Some caves were used as shelters during the Second World War and can be visited as well.

In addition to the park, the Aymerich Palace is a true also architectural jewel in the historic center of town. This XIX century building is now home to the Museum of Prehistoric Menhirs, exhibiting the largest and most precious collection of Sardinian standing stones and artifacts found in the pre-Nuragic megalithic necropolis of Sarcidano.
After the naturalistic and archaeological visit, a “Franciscan” spiritual experience may be enjoyed in the very birthplace of St. Ignatius: the little village, in fact, is where visitors can find the modest house of that Saint and the museum dedicated to him.

Text source: https://www.sardegnaturismo.it/it/esplora/parco-aymerich
Photo source: https://www.menhirmuseum.it/palazzo-aymerich

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


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