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Malta Series #6: Victoria

Victoria, the capital of the island of Gozo is well-known for its characteristic historical citadel and for many monuments that you can find almost everywhere due to the constant changing of the populations that inhabit the city, making different kinds of buildings since the Neolithic times.

Originally named “Rabat”, it was later changed by the British government in 1897 in honor of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee; however Gozitans (the inhabitants of Gozo) still often refer to it by its old name. Victoria is situated on a hill, near the centre of the island, like Mdina (which is in the middle of Malta). This kind of location is due to a defense need, in order to see enemies from a higher point of view and in order to be far from the coast, which is the weakest point of attack for an island. The citadel is fortified by a high series of walls.

In the historical citadel, there’s also an important cathedral called Saint Mary’s Cathedral, which was built in 1697 after an earthquake destroyed the previous church. It is situated in the centre of the historical citadel, dominating the whole Gozo island. This cathedral is mainly important for paintings, which you can find inside and for the feast of Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is celebrated right inside it.

The main part of the charm of Victoria is getting lost in its narrow winding streets, knowing that you will not really get lost thanks to the walls surrounding the citadel. Walking around the city is really cool because of the stunning views, museums, art galleries, and the old prisons. Have an idle browse around the hops, most of which sell traditional Maltese arts and crafts, from woolens and lace to blown glass and cheap souvenirs.

From a photographic point of view, the main interesting activity in Victoria are panoramas; you have the opportunity to go up the walls and be in the higher point of the island of Gozo, so you can shoot panoramas from the best point of view.

Outro/Footer: Alessandro Panelli (aka yo.panic or .panic) is a Medicine and Surgery student, a photographer and a writer from Padova (Italy, near Venice). Read more about Alessandro’s work and life “here”:http://alessandropanelli.tumblr.com or add him on Facebook or Google+.

written by yopanic

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