Once a Phoenician colony named Othoca, the ‘ancient city’ in contraposition with Neapolis arose following the work of the Carthaginians. From a promontory, it was dominated by the lagoon - at that time a navigable gulf – with its north-eastern shore lapping the present inhabited area. Santa Giusta rises from the ashes of one of the first cities of the island, founded in the second half of the 8th century BC along with Tharros and Sulky, which later became a Roman municipium, before being abandoned in the Middle Ages when, under the Giudicato of Arborea, the population was concentrated around the Cathedral of Santa Giusta. The majestic basilica, built between 1135 and 1145, was the seat of diocese until 1503. It appears in all its grandeur on a hill on the main street, a Romanesque ‘temple’ named after the martyr who gives the town its name, celebrated in mid-May. Some of the basilica’s columns hail from Tharros and from the same Othoca, of which there are also two arches of the bridge on the Rio Palmas that date back to the Roman era.