Thursday, 12 December 2013
Mdina is located inland at the centre of the island of Malta, and there is a small family-run hotel situated inside the fortified medieval city.
The history of Mdina is as old and as chequered as the history of Malta itself. It can trace its origins back more than 4000 years. This old medieval capital of Malta rises above central Malta, its bastions and cathedral dome dominating the skyline.
It is fascinating to tour for its timeless atmosphere and cultural and religious treasures. Mdina has had different names and titles depending on its rulers and its role. It was Melita to the Romans; Medina to the Arabs; and Citta' Vecchia, the old city, when Valletta became the lifeblood of the Islands. None describe it better than its medieval name, Citta' Notabile, the noble city. It was home to Malta's noble families, some descendants of the Norman, Sicilian and Spanish overlords who made Mdina their home from the 12th century onwards. Their impressive palaces line its narrow, shady streets. Mdina is one of Europe's finest examples of an ancient walled city, and unusual in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture.
Today Mdina has a quiet, restrained atmosphere in keeping with its noble past. Lamp-lit by night, Mdina transforms itself into the `Silent City'. For a relaxed evening, seek out the restaurants tucked away in its bastions and palace courtyards.