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The Victoria Citadel
The Citadella or Citadel is more than just a fortification, it's a tiny town protected by walls, in the heart of Victoria - capital of Gozo.
The first fort at this spot had been built around 1500 BC and the current one in 1622.
Gozo's capital, Victoria has evolved out of this fortified small town. As the population grew, locals started erecting dwellings outside the walls.
Good strategic position for firing guns
In 1551, a force of 10,000 Ottoman Turks invaded Gozo and besieged the Citadel, which became refuge to 5,000-6,000 people. But the city fell in a few days and almost all of them were taken as slaves to the Ottomans. Slightly more than 300 people managed to escape...
The cathedral hiding behind walls
The actual citadel built by the Crown of Aragon has gained its current shape following reconstruction work between 1599-1622.
It was the only fortified refuge for Gozo's entire population until the construction of For Chambray in Ghajnsielem.
Amiable quiet ancient street
Also check out the entire Malta Photo Gallery
In 1798, Malta was occupied by the French, but the population of Gozo rose up and drove the invaders out of the Citadel in a matter of days, without a fight. The entire island of Gozo was then transferred to the British.
Walking around within the Citadel, I have found that some parts date back to the medieval period, many of those parts being in ruins.
The parts built in the 1500's-1600's are in mostly in very good condition.
During my visit, the Victoria Citadel's narrow streets looked deserted, some almost forgotten.
There was not much life in there, as opposed to fortified Mdina, which is somewhat similar, but a much larger establishment.
One particularly special aspect of the Victoria Citadel (one asset that Mdina doesn't have) is its high location: it was built on top of a tall hill.
This allows great views all around: you can see nearby towns, a large part of the island of Gozo.
Particularly beautiful is the interior of the Cathedral of Assumption, but unfortunately I didn't have the possibility to get in during my visit.
More photos of the Citadel and the panorama of Gozo are listed below...
I wonder if any of these "babies" were ever fired
Complex box city below...
Weird trees. Nature is captive to man's creations.
I love this desert colour. So typical to Malta.
The Cathedral from a better viewing angle
It's not easy to imagine how this small complex of buildings behind the walls could allow 5,000-6,000 people to take refuge in it. I measured a maximum width of approximately 110 m.
I sometimes wonder what memories these buildings have
Staring out to the northwest
Agricultural lands cover most of Gozo
Flat-top buildings - so typically Mediterranean
Xewkija's church to the east in the distance (to the right)
This landscape has captured my heart
Small hills scattered on the island. The tallest point is 190 m.
The box-shaped buildings reminded me of the dwellings I saw in Spain or Morocco
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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As "Escape Hunter" - the curious incognito traveler with an insatiable drive to explore, I embark on slow and deep travels around
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