The town walls
the past served to defend the town from raids by Barbary pirates and attempts by the French to occupy the island. The walls, almost quadrangular and equipped with bastions and seven block houses, enclosed the entire portion of the territory known today as Castello (the Castle).
The fortifications were requested by the population from the King of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel I, after the raid by Tunisian corsairs in September 1798 who enslaved almost a thousand inhabitants of the island. All that remains of the imposing fortification is a large part facing west, a short section to the north, three forts – Santa Cristina, Santa Teresa and Beatrice – and Portone del Leone (the Lion’s Gate), so called because of the lion’s head carved into the stone. These vestiges, now part of the urban fabric, bear witness to a time that was one of the most troubled for the island’s community and recall the strength of spirit with which the local population was able to react to the misfortune. The fear of new incursions made the enterprise a priority: work began on the defensive structure in 1806 and was completed in 1813, thanks to the commitment of the entire population of Carloforte.