Dating back to Neolithic times when the island of Gozo was independent from Malta, this fortified Citadel sitting above the current capital of Victoria used to be the center of life on the island. After centuries of harassment by the Turks and Berbers, the island’s population was required to live within the Citadel’s walls, but a siege in 1551 took the majority into slavery and it came crumbling down. After nearly five decades, the Citadel was reshaped into its present layout, which itself was recently renovated. A walk through this stunning limestone structure is now a must-do when in Gozo. While wandering the grounds, take notice of the holy shrines under the Norman-style arches and the doors adorned with a Coat-of-Arms. Up at its ramparts, you’ll find a 360-degree view of the islands’s hills, valleys and villages, with the blue Mediterranean Sea off in the distance. There are also various churches and museums to visit, like the super fascinating, cave-like Gunpowder Magazine (watch your head!) where gunpowder was stored in the late 17th and 18th centuries.
By Sara Lieberman, AFAR Contributor
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