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Mdina is a small fortified town in central Malta with tremendously rich history.
It has a population of around 300, but it's one of the best places to visit in the entire Malta.
Mdina is a heavily fortified little contained area - I'd say it has a social system of its own, an intricate street network, palaces, a beautiful cathedral and a lot more.
The entrance is through a bridge above a moat
Mdina is so small its longest distance measured on the diagonal is somewhere around 450 m only.
This article is based on my visit in 2011, but the restorations works already started in 2008, projected to be finalized in 2015.
The facade of the entrance gate
I got to Mdina by bus from the Sliema Bus Terminal.
My bus brought me to the Saqqajja station at the edge of Rabat, from where the fort was very close. Reachable on foot.
Chariot in a wonderful setting
The St. Paul's Cathedral is said to have been built on the site where Maltese governor, Publius has met with Saint Paul after his shipwreck.
St. Paul's Cathedral is the main attraction within Mdina
Today's church was built between 1697-1702, at the spot of an earthquake-demolished Norman cathedral. Part of that old churches artifacts have survived and were moved to the new church.
St. Dorothy's Convent
Also check out the entire Malta Photo Gallery
The cathedral contains Tuscan paintings, frescoes and carvings by German-Hungarian artist Albrecht Dürer.
An interesting characteristic of Mdina is that the Baroque style co-exists with the Norman style, which is part of the Romanesque style.
On this photo to the left you can see the St. Dorothy's Convent building - found near the cathedral, at the same square.
Mdina seemed quite a popular place with lots of cafes and souvenir shops. All inside, all behind the walls...
Mdina even has a soccer team called Mdina Knights - but they use a soccer field located much further.
Living behind the walls of Mdina must be a bit claustrophobic.
Quite interestingly, the town of Mdina used to have a rail link with Valletta between 1883-1931, but its has been discontinued.
The buses introduced in 1905 have quickly lead to a downturn of train travel demand towards the 1920's. So, the Malta Railway company has ceased operations.
Ceramic plaque marking the Old Jewish Silk Market of Mdina
Old Greek... you probably guessed. Religious "censorship"?
Street names are also marked by the beautiful ceramic plaques
How "Holy Cross Street" reads in Maltese is very interesting
Things you can eat in Mdina... What's a "Gozo lunch"?
The gate of the Vilhena Palace
The palace was built at around 1730 and later converted into a Museum of Natural History
Above the entrance: António Manoel de Vilhena (Portuguese), Prince and Grand Master of Malta - the one who ordered the construction of this palace...
About the Author:
Escape Hunter, the young solo traveler in his early 30's explores the World driven by curiosity, thirst for adventure, deep passion for beauty, love for freedom and diversity.
With a nuanced, even humorous approach to travel, an obsession for art and design, Escape Hunter prefers to travel slowly, in order to learn and "soak up" the local atmosphere...
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