Catalan Gothic Churches and Palaces in Alghero

Part Two: Palaces


3. De Ferrera Palace

Piazza Civica (Plaça del Pou Vell) 30-34
Mid-15th century

This palace was constructed by Pere Nofre De Ferrera, a wealthy Catalan merchant and the Baron of Bonvehí. It was later owned by the Marquis of Albis, the Count of Marramaldo, and the De Arcayne family, after whom it is alternatively called. 

The façade of the building has a horizontal orientation. On the piano nobile level we can see four pairs of windows with round arches, each resting on a slender column (coronelles). There are smaller windows with ogee arches on the same level on the sides. On the ground-floor level we can distinguish a large fan of finely dressed voussoirs which marked the main entrance to the building (portal adovellado). The palace had a courtyard with an external staircase and an upper gallery. 




It is the stateliest of the 15th-century palaces of Alghero. King Charles I (Holy Roman Emperor Charles V) stayed here for two days during the 1541 Algiers expedition.


4. Carcassona Palace

Via Sant’Erasmo (Carrer de les Monges) 8-14
Mid-15th century

This palace is located in the Jewish ghetto (juharia) of Alghero. It was built by Salomone (Nino) de Carcassona. The Carcassona family had arrived to Alghero from Languedoc. They were one of the most powerful Jewish families in Sardinia in the Aragonese period. 

The palace was in Catalan Gothic style, as shown by the remains of the three bifora windows on the piano nobile level. Its adovellado portal is unique in Alghero in that it includes decorative moldings. One block of stone on the façade shows a carved face. The colourful decorative panels are from the 1920s. 





When Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, Nino Carcassona left Alghero. His palace was requisitioned by the Crown. His descendants converted to Catholicism.


5. Arbosich Palace

Via Sant’Erasmo (Carrer de les Monges) 16
Second half of 15th century

This building, attached to the Carcassona Palace, belonged to a wealthy Jewish family from Valencia. Their coat of arms, which shows the motif of the strawberry tree (arbocer), can be seen above the upper-floor window.



6. Royal Customs House

Piazza Civica (Plaça del Pou Vell) 40-42
15th century

The building of the Royal Customs originally had a loggia with three arches on the ground floor and four bifora windows with pointed arches on the piano nobile. Some remains of the windows can be observed on the façade.



7. Guió i Duran Palace

Via Roma (Carrer de la Mercè) 73-77
Late 15th century

This palace is named after a Jewish family that converted into Catholicism after 1492. It is better known as the Peretti Palace, after a Corsican family into whose possession it went in the second half of the 18th century. 

The palace originally had, like the Royal Customs House, a loggia on the ground floor. The arches of the loggia were supported by polygonal pillars the capitals of which were decorated with phytomorphic motifs (cf., the capitals in the cloister of the Convent of Saint Francis). These arches were later walled in. Above the main entrance is the coat of arms of the Peretti family. 




Some fragments of mullioned windows can be observed on the piano nobile level on the façade. These are similar to the coronelles of the De Ferrera Palace.


8. Çarrovira Palace

Via Carlo Alberto (Carrer Major) 8-14
Early 16th century

There seems to be no clear agreement on the origins of this palace. It was probably built by the Çarrovira family in the first years of the 16th century, and later it went into the hands of the Guillot family. According to some sources, however, this was originally a palace owned by the Guió i Duran family. 

Of the original features on the façade, only the dovelles of the main entrance and windows with latticework architraves survive. 




9. Salt Well Palace

Via Manno (Carrer del Fossar) / Via Santa Barbara (Carrer de Santa Barbara)
First half of 16th century

This corner building stands in the area where there was a fish market in the 16th century. It is named after the salt water well that can be seen in front of it. There are some Gothic windows on its both façades. 





10. Tibau Palace

Via Principe Umberto (Carrer del Bisbe / Carrer de Bonaria) 9-11
Mid-16th century

This palace was constructed by Pere Tibau, a wealthy Catalan merchant. It is traditionally known as Casa Doria and as the Machin Palace, after its owner since the first half of the 17th century. 

This is the best surviving Catalan Gothic palace in Alghero. The windows with latticework architraves are some of the most attractive in the city. Above the entrance, in Renaissance style, is the coat of arms of Pere Tibau.




The building suffered bombings during World War II. 


11. Piazza Duomo (Plaça de Santa Maria) 1 

This building was probably constructed in the Genovese period. Its main façade was originally on Via Majorca, where we see the remains of two entrances with arches made of limestone and red volcanic rock. 

In the Aragonese period, the building was turned into a palace. The large voussoir arches of the walled-in entrances on Piazza Duomo and the two Gothic mullioned windows on Via Majorca are from this period. 



In the 17th century, the building was transformed into the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. It now houses the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art. 



12. Via Carlo Alberto (Carrer de Sant Francesc) 38

Remains of a Gothic bifora with ogee arches and trefoil intrados can be seen on a façade across the Church of Saint Francis.