The Citadel Gozo Malta photos show the unique character of this unique city visited by thousands of people every year.
The Citadel has been the centre of activity since Neolithic times. It was fortified from the time of the Bronze Age around 100 BC. It lies at the heart of Victoria, the capital city of Gozo.
You can observe the city from many parts of the island as it lies at the top of a plateau. It is easily identified from far away while driving around the island.
It is the only fortified location in Gozo. If you follow a guide book during your visit or take a guided tour, you will understand how the history of this island developed and how important this fortified city was for the lives of its inhabitants.
The name Cittadella is an Italian word used by locals. In Maltese it translates to Iċ-Ċittadella. It is also called Citadel in English; Castello or the Grand Castello in Italian and in Maltese Il-Kastell. Today it is on Malta's tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1998.
As soon as you go in from the arched doorway within the fortification walls, you see the main square in front of you with the imposing baroque cathedral facade dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
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If you look over the fortification walls, you can see the recently renovated fortifications and surroundings. The bastions lying on the south side of the Citadel were built by the Knights of St. John between 1599 and 1603. You will be amazed with the view and it will be even nicer when the rainy season starts and all turns green.
Close to the entrance through the fortifications, one can observe the clock tower over the fortification wall. Built in 1858 where it has chimed since then except when it was restored in recent years. It has two bells one for quarter strike which bell was foundered in the 18th century and the other for the hour strike has the date of 1819.
In the evening the floodlighting of the Citadel fortification walls and the prominent buildings are seen from far away. It is an opportunity to take your photo memories of this city any time during the day or night. It is worth waiting for the evening to see this incredible view. You can drive around and see the view from different angles.
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During recent years a major restoration project was taken in hand through local and EU Co-funded project funds on the entire one kilometre fortification walls and the consolidation of the wall foundations.
The revamp has also centred on the entrance area, the square in front of the cathedral and the external landscaping around the bastions. It has become even more of an attraction for the Maltese population and tourists.
The Cittadella Visitor's Centre is located inside the two old water reservoirs built during the 1870's into an interpretation facility. Touch screens and printed panels helps the visitor understand the evolving history of the Citadel. The second part offers an eight-minute video on the history of this city.
Although small, you can see a variety of small museums. Within there are the Museums of Archaeology, the Folklore and the Gozo Nature Museum.
The Old Prison, Old Gunpowder Magazine and the grain silos are outside the fortifications, including the Battery and the World War II Shelter. You can walk along all the fortified ramparts with a complete bread taking 360 degrees panorama view of the island.
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The only three restaurants within the bastion walls offer a delicious selection of Gozo’s fresh food. Ta’ Rikardu restaurant is in an old building from the time of the Knights of Saint John and San Martino Cittadella overlooking the bastion walls.
When my family is in Gozo we like to pay a visit to Ta’ Rikardu restaurant. It serves
original Gozo grown food especially for the delicious
flavoured fresh cheese made from milk from Ricardo’s farm, not least the wine
from his own vineyards.
The two small souvenir shops are on the left and right side of the cathedral. Here you find locally woven jerseys from goats wool.
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In front of the cathedral there are high steps to reach the entrance. This is because of the sloping rocks to build the cathedral on a flat platform. The cathedral is in the form of a Latin cross, all built from local stone by the well-known architect of the time Lorenzo Gafa.
One of the most impressive things about the cathedral is the dome above the main altar. It is actually a flat ceiling painted in a perspective of a dome. The painting was executed in 1739.
It leaves many visitors perplexed, and it takes some time to succeed and realise that it is actually not a real dome. Some keep on thinking it is real. It is worth a visit.