Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gozo Citadel

January 23, 2015

A trip to Gozo is like taking a step back in time.  The little island is quiet and peaceful and basically a rural community.  The only way to access the island is by taking a 30 minute ferry ride from the main island of Malta to the island of Gozo.  It was windy, rainy, and cold.  The ferry had to take an alternate route around the island because the waves were so huge.  Malta is home to many English and Australian retirees and vacationers who go there because of it's warm, temperate climate.  It was a shock to experience the bad weather.  The island was experiencing record breaking cold while we were there.

The Citadel is built on one of the many flat-topped hills in the centre of Gozo. It's origins can be traced to the latter part of the Middle Ages.
Up until 1637 the people of Gozo had to take shelter within the Citadel's walls after sunset, due to the frequent Turkish assaults on the island. In 1551 a strong Turkish force overwhelmed the Citadel and carried 6000 of the inhabitants away into slavery. Only 300 Gozitans managed to escape before the capitulation. The walls themselves date from the 16th to the 18th century.

It is believed that the Gozo Citadel or Cittadella as it’s known locally, has been active in some form or another from the New Stone Age period. However, studies indicate that its first fortification was done at around 1500 BC.

gozo island citadel

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