This is a medieval city based on a hilltop that has been occupied from pre-historic times. As a fortified city there is high wall with the central area being both confined and little changed from what it was like then.
The entry is via a narrow gate and there are still formidable looking statues on the gate pillars. Traffic is restricted to residents and for tourists there are rather enchanting horses and carriages.
The views to the horizon over the city walls clearly show why this place was chosen.
It is also very well preserved as even a passage to the local council offices has a painted ceiling. Then suddenly one comes upon the cathedral, and its adjoining museum. Despite this it is clear that people actually live here as demonstrated by the cactus and the washing line just a few feet away.
I would recommend the museum even although the entry was being refurbished when we were there. Inside there are a very interesting collection of paintings and silver statues. This includes cast silver statues of the 12 disciples.
In 1798 these were due to be melted down to pay bills. According to the history the plan was to use the money to pay the salaries of the occupying French forces. Thankfully good sense prevailed although the process occurred twice. See below for more details from Wikepedia
There is also a painting of man full of character who in many ways could even pass for someone of the present day.
There is good chance to wander the street and the scenes are intriguing with interesting and wandering narrow streets.
Even the doors to the houses have a unique charm- similar yet each unique.
We enjoyed a very tasty lunch at a local restaurant which has been in business for quite a long time. It first opened in 1530AD!
We also visited the Palazzo Falson which was last owned by Olaf Golcher who was of Swedish descent and lived there until his death in 1962. The family owned Golcher group still functions as a shipping company in Malta. Olaf Golcher joined the British Army in 1914 and served in both World Wars and reached the rank of Captain in 1945. For more details see wikepdia as given below.
We finished the day by going to see the Roman villa located just outside the walls. See the separate post for this https://inspireretirenow.com/2019/02/13/travel-malta-domus-romana/
Our visit was in February with Valentines due soon. I could not resist this photograph showing that Love is the same as it ever was- at least back to 1889!
If you read the history of Malta on Wikepedia it helps understand that the history of all the countries of Europe are very much intertwined. It does show that all the events have happened before in one form or another
I hope that this has inspired you to visit Malta- and enjoy your retirement
see my post about St Elmo’s Fort https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/inspireretirenow.com/825
or the post about the Memorial to the Siege of 1940/42 https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/inspireretirenow.com/880
Some helpful weblinks are :-
- wikepedia Mdina https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mdina
- mdina Cathedral Museum https://www.metropolitanchapter.com/mdina-cathedral-museum/about-the-museum/history-of-the-mdina-metropolitan-cathedral-museum/
- wikepedia for Palazzo Falson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_Falson
- malta transport- as the city is very popular and closed to cars then coming by bus is recommended https://www.publictransport.com.mt/