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Street Wandering in Victoria

April 29, 2015

Victoria's absorbing old narrow streets had me lost exploring them for a long time... the embellishments, the colours and the serenity are captivating.
Rambling without any specific target, just taking a dive into the atmosphere, I wanted to myself be surprised...

Religious ornaments in Victoria, Gozo

Religious ornaments abound on buildings' walls

Also check out the entire Malta Photo Gallery

Victoria, otherwise known as Rabat lies deeper inland and functions as the capital of the island.

While "Rabat" is of Semitic/Arabic origin, having two meanings - either "suburb" or "fortified city", the name of "Victoria" was given to this city on June 10th, 1887, under British rule to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.

During my trip to Malta I still heard Maltese referring to it as "Rabat". In fact, the is the only way I heard them calling it.

Of course, this must not be confused with another city with the same name (Rabat) found on the main island of Malta.
All I saw from that city was the small part around the bus station, I only transited through when visiting Mdina and the Dingli Cliffs.

Returning to Gozo's Victoria...

The primary attraction is the the Citadel, but it would be a shame to leave the city itself out...

The place place to start your urban exploration is actually the area below the Citadel.
Piazza San Gorg is the name of the square right in front of the Bazilika San Gorg or Saint George Basilica. The place where I walked around the most.

Saint George Basilica

The Bazilika San Gorg

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The Saint George's Basilica is in the heart of Victoria, in what one might call "the old town" and was built between 1672-1678.

Colourful houses

Colourful residential buildings

Also check out the entire Malta Photo Gallery

The interior of the Baroque church is far more appealing than the exterior.

The organ gallery is especially beautiful and so is the ceiling covered with beautiful frescoes.

I was there in May 2011, but later in February 2013, a museum was opened, which displays artifacts and art pieces that were previously hidden from the public's eyes.

As for the streets around...

I started my exploration through the Triq San Gorg (apparently Saint George Street), which is to the right of the basilica.

This was one of the most beautiful parts of the city of Victoria...

Quiet ancient streets...

Very few people were walking around, but the cafes and restaurants seemed to have attracted more.

If you want to have a brunch, then you should hover around in the square in front of the church.

The basilica, the street I mentioned (to the right side), the square in front of the basilica are all named after Saint George.

Ceramic plaque in Victoria

Ceramic plaque showing Saint George

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Saint George is in fact the patron saint of the island of Gozo. If you want to find out more about it, read this article by the Times of Malta.

Maltese traditional balconies

The traditional Maltese balconies on Victoria's main street

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Escape Hunter

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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