Discover Mdina

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Mdina. The silent city.

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This area of the island is as old and as chequered as the history of Malta itself.

The citadel of Mdina has been fortified since as far back as 1000BC when the Phoenicians built a protective wall here. The history of Rabat dates back just as far and also has strong religious ties as this is where St. Paul was imprisoned during his time in Malta and later where St. Agatha hid after she had fled from Sicily.

Over the years Mdina has had different names and titles depending upon who was ruling the island at the time. Named Malet meaning ‘place of shelter’ by the Phoenicians, and Melita by the Romans who built a large town here, it’s current name comes from the Arabic word madina meaning ‘walled city’. The Arabs built strong walls around the city and dug a deep moat between Mdina and its suburbs known as Rabat. No name or title, however, characterises the city of Mdina so accurately than “Citta Notabile” – The Noble City. This name came about in medieval times when it was the favoured residence of the island’s aristocracy and the seat of the “Universita’” or Governing Council. Even from a distance you can sense the nobility.

The Knights who were a sea-based force, favoured Valletta and the Grand Harbour as their centre of activity and Mdina sank into the background as a retreat of the Maltese nobility and to this day has preserved its medieval aristocratic ambiance.

Mdina is today often referred to as the Silent City. Perched on a hilltop, with its massive walls and peaceful shady streets, one really gets the sense of having stepped back in time when walking round this city.

PLACES OF INTEREST IN MDINA, RABAT AND SURROUNDING AREAS

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  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • Cathedral Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • Palazzo Falson (Norman House)
  • Museum of Roman Antiques
  • St Paul’s Catacombs
  • St Paul’s Grotto
  • St Agatha’s Catacombs
  • Views from the Mdina Bastions
  • Ta’ Qali Crafts Village
  • Buskett Gardens & Verdala Palace
  • Dingli Cliffs
  • Clapham Junction

GETTING AROUND

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The old capital is a typical medieval town perched on a rocky hilltop in the centre of the island. ‘The Silent City’, as it is still known, commands a magnificent bird’s eye view of the island and retains a romantic aura quite unlike any other.

  • Easily accessible by public transport.
  • Malta International Airport is 8km away and a limousine service can be booked from the Hotel.
  • Valletta, the capital, is about 15 minutes drive from Mdina.
  • Large car parks around the 3 gates of Mdina accommodate many cars daily.
  • Once in Mdina the best way to travel is on foot or of course by our typical horse drawn carriages – ‘karrozzin’.

 

 

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GDS CODES:

Amadeus (1A) Sabre (AA) Galileo/Apollo (UA) Worldspan (1P)
WBMLAT01 WB56473 WB33203 WBMT01

The Xara Palace Hotel

Misrah il-Kunsill, Mdina
MDN 1050, Malta.
Tel: (+356) 21 450560,
Fax: (+356) 21 452612,
Email:info@xaracollection.com


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