Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mdina, Malta

Mdina is a fortified citadel on a hilltop in the center of Malta. The city was founded by the Romans as Melita. The Arabs reduced the name and the size. The name became Mdina which means "city" in Arabic and it was refortified, leaving Rabat as a suburb. The city was the island's capital until the Knights of St. John built Valletta. It still retains a quiet dignity.

Mdina on a hilltop

The walls

The entrance

Detail over the entrance

Just inside the entrance is the Mdina Dungeons, into which we did not go, though we did try out their pillory.

My sad punishment

L just barely fit

J didn't make it in

The entrance courtyard also has the Natural History Museum in the Vilhena Palace.

Natural History Museum

Cool building next to Natural History

The square also has the tourist information office, where the largest Lego person (or the smallest Knight of St. John) is located.

Knight of Malta Lego held L's hand

L at the airport with a Playmobile pirate ready to fight the knight!

View of the entrance gate from inside

It's known as the "Silent City" because only residents are allowed to bring in cars and commercial vehicles only come in the morning. Stores are very discreet. The photo above shows the most items put out on a sidewalk, every other store keeps its wares indoors.

A random wall decoration

A discreet church

Nice light purple trim!

The streets are narrow and angled, allowing no arrow to travel far if they were ever invaded.

J on a narrow street

A nice raised walkway

By the Palazzo Falson is the ramparts overlooking Malta, with views to Valletta and the Mediterranean.

Palazzo Falson

The top of the walls

View to Valletta

View to the Mediterranean

In this area we found Fontanella, a restaurant built into the walls. The restaurant is named after a Baroque fountain inside the restaurant. We ate upstairs and didn't see much of the fountain, but we enjoyed the view.


Mdina is full of fantastic decoration that blend in well with the medieval style of the town.

A door knocker

Lintel and balcony

Marian corner

A fancy balcony

We were able to go into a small but wonderful Carmelite priory church in Mdina, which has an amazing dome.

Carmelite Priory church

The main altar

The dome (click to enlarge)

Mdina also has the island's cathedral, which will have its own post on Sunday.


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  2. Great write up and photos!

    In my opinion Mdina has more character than other more popular tourist spots on the island.