The Silent City
It is believed that there has been a settlement on the site of Mdina since around 800 B.C. It was the capital of the island until Valletta eclipsed it in importance and, as a consequence of that, the city was bypassed by the ravages of time. The result is that it is now one of the finest examples of an ancient city anywhere in Europe.
Entering through the gate is like stepping back in time. The well-preserved buildings give a feeling of what life was like many centuries ago. Also known as the "Silent City," in the evenings it provides a wonderfully romantic backdrop to a meal or even a simple stroll.
Much of the town was destroyed in the earthquake of 1693 but this allowed the Cathedral and Bishop's Palace to be rebuilt on a much grander scale.
St. Paul's Cathedral
In the heart of the city this beautiful Cathedral was built in the late 17th century. It has an impressive dome and the huge interior has some fine frescoes and a large painting showing the conversion of St. Paul.
This impressive museum houses an eclectic mix covering religious pieces, Roman pottery, and rare coins. Possibly the finest display is of copperplates and woodcuts by the famous artist Albrecht Dürer.
Located in the former prisons and linked to the Magisterial Palace that was built by the Knights, these dungeons form a museum of torture in Malta over the years. With life size effigies depicting some historical events such as the martyrdom of St. Agatha and some very grisly sites showing various methods of torture, it is not for the squeamish!
Enjoy the view!
When visiting Mdina you must take full advantage of the spectacular views from the walls. Laid out before you is a panoramic view of the island stretching as far as Valletta. One of the best ways to enjoy this view is to have tea and cake on the terrace of Fontanella Tea Gardens, which is built into the walls of the town and provides the perfect way to enjoy the scenery.
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