Museum of Mediterranean Weaving
The Museum of Mediterranean Weaving, located in the Doria Castle , is the pride and joy of Castelsardo and one of the most widely visited museums in Sardinia.
The museum is dedicated to the rich Sardinian tradition of using the vegetal resources of the territory: dwarf palm, rushes, asphodel, and other plants, to create objects of everyday use according to ancient hand-weaving techniques. The collection includes numerous handmade objects, divided according to the type of use: baskets, with ample space dedicated to the renowned baskets of Castelsardo, fishing traps, the typical su fassoni freshwater boats, and sieves and other bread-making tools. The exhibits provide in-depth information on the raw materials used and the various techniques employed.
The museum gives space to the expression of the local culture as both a place of memory and a stimulus to ensuing that these ancient traditions continue to be handed down.
Each theme or area of use of the products displayed at the museum presents a collection of objects, along with information on the raw materials used and on the weaving techniques employed. Sifters for bran and sieves made of wood and fabric are used by Sardinian women to process the flour used for making bread.
The characteristic fishing boat known as su fassoni is typical of the lagoons of Cabras and Santa Giusta in the zone of Oristano. It is built according to a precise procedure using sheaves of marsh straw, cords made of rushes and nails made from giant reeds to reinforce and stiffen the structure completely. Other more or less well known implements are also on display, including spears and shellfish traps, and the reed baskets used to carry the boulter, a fishing line with many hooks attached that were hooked onto the edge of the basket up to the moment of fishing.
The baskets and sacks used in agriculture and livestock rearing are made using branches of myrtle, wild olive, lentiscus and willow, shrubs typical of the Mediterranean maquis. Particularly interesting are the reins and ropes for binding products to the pack saddle and for bridling the donkeys, mules, and horses used as pack animals.
The exhibit itinerary is organised in specific thematic areas, divided between the five rooms of the museum. The first room contains the exhibits related to the art of bread-making, with all the objects involved in the procedure for making homemade bread and pasta. Characteristic objects include the various baskets used as units of measurement as well as containers. In Sardinian homes, these objects are used and then stored hung on the walls, giving the kitchens a characteristic look.
The exhibit continues with objects related to domestic life, many of which are made using the dwarf palm. This plant, the one also carried in Palm Sunday processions, is very versatile thanks to its particular characteristics. It enables various fibres with variable thickness and sturdiness to be braided, and is thus used in weaving baskets, flasks and other objects.
Another room of the museum is dedicated to fishing, in both lake and sea. Exhibits include traditional boats, fishing equipment, and hand-woven traps used for catching many varieties of fish, including lobsters, which are common on sea floor in this part of Sardinia.
Many objects on display are dedicated to the world of agriculture and livestock rearing. Hand-made by farmers with a cross-weaving technique, these objects were used in the various phases of agricultural life: from removing stones to sowing seeds, harvesting and transporting produce, and food preservation.
Summer hours: 9.00 a.m.-1.00 p.m. and 2.00-4.00 p.m.
Winter hours: 9.30 a.m.-1.00 p.m. and 3.00-5.30 p.m.
Admission: 3 euros. Children: 2 euros.
Services Audio-guides The audio-guides can be hired at the Visitor Centre.