Oristano’s finest hour is recalled in the marble statue of Eleonora d’Arborea that presides over the piazza named after her in the old centre. Eleonora was the giudice of the Arborea region from 1384 to 1404 and is the best loved of Sardinia’s medieval rulers, having been the only one who enjoyed any success against the Aragonese invaders. She died from plague in 1404, though her most enduring legacy survived her by several centuries: the formulation of a Code of Laws, which was eventually extended throughout the island. Eleonora’s statue, carved in 1881, shows her bearing the scroll on which the laws were written, while inset panels depict her various victories.

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