Statue of the young Bacchus
Painting of Don Antonio Manca Amat, Duke of Asinara
Tra il 1775 e il 1804
Palazzo Ducale was built from 1775 to 1804 by order of Don Antonio Manca, Marquis of Mores and Lord of Usini, after his being named Duke of Asinara. Located in the centre of the old town, very close to the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, the residence was conceived as a prestigious home and was built after the demolition of a previous family home, incorporating in the project also some “tall houses” belonging to townspeople, the backs of which bordered on the gardens of the first Manca residence. In 1878 it became the Town Hall, and the Commune of Sassari bought the property in 1899.
The archaeological excavations
The ground floor of the building was excavated for the first time in 1995 during restoration work. The exploration recommenced and was completed in other areas in 2005. This work, which contributed to our understanding of the urban layout of the area in the 1500s and 1600s, revealed the presence of cellars, wells and sewage tanks belonging to the first Manca residence, and perhaps even to buildings preceding it. Deep fill layers were revealed beneath the floors of the rooms. These had covered up six cellars, which were partially cut from the rock. Their floor plan is not in keeping with that of the palace, the internal and external walls of which cut into the walls of some of these cellar rooms. This is proof of their pre-dating Palazzo Ducale, within which, however, they were partially re-utilised.