Today, as in the Middle Ages, its majestic appearance instils feelings of strength and respect. The mighty walls of the castle of Monreale still stand on top of a hill a few kilometres from Sardara and the 131 state road: an easy path leads up to the manor, from where the view encompasses the whole Campidano as far as the Golfo degli Angeli ('Gulf of Angels'). With many different owners and fought over by the Aragonese and Catalans, it was inextricably linked to the destiny of the judges of Arborea: together with the castle of Marmilla (Las Plassas) and that of Mount Arcuentu (Arbus), it formed the southern defensive line of the judicature. Built to control the roads linking the south and north of the island, as well as a military fortress, it was also a royal residence. Many documents confirm this: in 1324 Teresa d'Entença, wife of the Infante Alfonso of Aragon, stayed here, and in the following decades its most illustrious 'tenants' were Mariano IV and Eleonora. At the time, the castle was at the height of its splendour and the Arborense 'court' spent periods of rest and recuperation there, given its proximity to the ancient baths of Santa Maria Aquas.