With the end of the 1800s, the coast of northern Sardinia facing the Archipelago of La Maddalena saw the erection of numerous fortified military structures which, together with those dislocated on the islands, were built in order to secure proper defense against the French as well as other players on the larger chessboard of the Western Mediterranean.
In the years known as the “Great Fortification” period, Palau saw the construction of three great military batteries: Monte Altura, Capo d’Orso and Baragge. The Monte Altura battery, situated north-west of Palau, is in a strategically panoramic position, is easily reachable from the road to Porto Rafael and had to contend with the mirroring effect of the water to the West. It offers a scenic view of the surrounding islands all the way up to Corsica.
The site is well preserved and open to guided tours. During the summer season it hosts concerts and cultural events.
The Capo d’Orso battery had to contend with the mirroring effect of the water to the East on the Gulf of Arzachena and the Island of Caprera. It is still property of the State, as is the Baragge battery which is located on the hill of the same name and which had the function of protecting the coast from attacks coming from inland areas. Capo d’Orso battery and Belvedere di Baragge overlook the splendid panoramas of the archipelago of La Maddalena and the hills of the inland landscape.