The 5 most beautiful legends of Sardinia: among fairies, Moors and devils

legends of Sardinia

Sardinia is an ancient land, rich in mistery. A place like this is fertile ground for myths and legends. Such as these 5, among the most beautiful and significant that you can ever hear on the island.


1. Domus de janas

Domus de Janas are ancient tombs carved into rock, typical of pre-Nuragic Sardinia. Usually, they were carved in barren and isolated parts of the island. The name means “houses of the fairies” in Sardinian language: according to the legend, little fairies lived in these tombs, protagonists of several stories throughout Sardinia.


2. Is Sardinia Atlantis?

That’s not strictly a legend but a fascinating theory. The journalist Sergio Frau, in his book Le colonne d’Ercole. Un’inchiesta (“The Pillars of Hercules. An investigation”) hypothesizes that the Pillars of Hercules, in reality, should be in the Strait of Sicily. And “the island beyond the Pillars of Hercules”, therefore, would be Sardinia.


3. Don’t call it Halloween

Sardinians have no doubt: the origin of Halloween is in Sardinia. Which here has two different names: Su Mortu Mortu in the north part of the island, Is Animeddas in the south part. According to this legend, the dead visit their relatives during the night between October 31 and November 1. The relatives prepare for the dead a dinner of homemade macaroni, wine and water.


4. La Sella del Diavolo

The name, literally, means “The Devil’s Saddle”. And, effectively, this promontory has the shape of a giant saddle.

  • According to one version of the legend, Lucifer was unhorsed by Gabriel the Archangel during a fierce battle in the sky of Cagliari: the saddle of Lucifer fell to the ground and became the Devil’s Saddle.
  • According to another version, when Lucifer was unhorsed by Gabriel the Archangel, he fell on the promontory and gave form to Devil’s Saddle.


5. The Flag of the four Moors

Even the origin of the flag of Sardinia, the famous Flag of the four Moors, is surrounded by many legends. Such as these two:

  • According to a first version, the Flag of Sardinia was born to celebrate the victory over the Moors at Alcoraz. The victory would have been obtained with the help of San Giorgio, whose standard is a red cross on a white field.
  • In another version of the story, the flag was the banner that Pope Benedict VIII gave to Pisani for their help to Sardinian the Saracens of Musetto.


Image source: “Lotzorai domus de janas 4” di Mauro Mereu – Opera propria. Con licenza CC BY-SA 2.5 tramite Wikimedia Commons

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