The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The Silent City

Perched on a hill in the central-west part of Malta is the small walled town of Mdina. Its history goes back thousands of years to the first inhabitants of the island. In Roman times it used to be much bigger, encompassing most of the neighbouring town of Rabat. However, during the Arab conquest, it was reduced to its present size. Mdina is a place of winding narrow streets and small picturesque squares.

The main square is dominated by the Baroque cathedral dedicated to St Paul and was built by the architect Lorenzo Gafa after the previous Gothic structure was destroyed in an earthquake in 1693.

The houses that survived the earthquake date back to the medieval period. However, rubbing shoulders with them are the ‘newer’ palaces and houses built in the Baroque style.

Thankfully, change has been slow in coming to Mdina and it is much the same as it was hundreds of years ago.

There is much I could tell you about its history, but that would make my post too long. Instead I will try to let the photos speak for themselves. This is an enchanting place which has captured my imagination, whose old buildings hold countless secrets for those willing to stop and listen.

Its walls throb with history; the very air thick with ghosts and memories of the past. Perhaps it is just my imagination but in this ancient place I never walk alone, the spirits of my ancestors surround me, whispering of bygone days, of lovers lost and battles won; of shuttered windows and high palace walls; of cloistered nuns and armoured knights; of chapels and churches, dungeons and banqueting halls; of tragedy and death and the beauty of life… I close my eyes. The noise of their whispering fills the air: a clash of swords, the clanking sound of heavy armour, the rustling swish of a faldetta, a piercing scream, an agonized moan, the insistent booming of church bells...
Perhaps I should be afraid. Perhaps they are trying to lure me to their world with their tales of the past but I think they are friendly ghosts, lost in time, unwilling to leave their enchanted city of silence and mystery.


  1. Oh my how beautiful .
    The voices are speaking loudly each picture kept me hanging on the edge of my seat in anticipation of what happened next.
    Such a wonderful post .Thank you so much for sharing this . I love all the history and to see such amazing Architecture still standing makes one feel something that I cannot put into words .
    Blessings to you
    and have a very wonderful week.

  2. Awesome post! Marvelous photos! It's so interesting to take a mental trip to where you're at this time!!

    Incredible! I love it..

  3. Look at those narrow streets. A really neat place to visit, I am sure!

  4. Amazing! Now I want to come talk to the spirits in Malta for myself... maybe over some of the local tea. :)

  5. It must be wonderful to travel to places like this and see all the wonderful history.

    The Raggedy Girl

  6. What a beautiful tour, thanks!!

  7. Great post. I love the pictures you're always putting up.

  8. Hello Loree

    for me this is a great introduction to Mdina and Malta. Do you live in this town on Malta?

    thank you Loree

    happy days


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