Video directed by Adèla Stefanov_ Mdina, Old Capital and the Silent City of Malta, june 2013
Music by IRFAN, Star of the winds
"Mdina, Città Vecchia, or Città Notabile, is the old capital of Malta. Mdina is a medieval walled town situated on a hill in the centre of the island. Punic remains uncovered beyond the city’s walls suggest the importance of the general region to Malta’s Phoenicians settlers. Mdina is commonly called the "Silent City" by natives and visitors. The town is still confined within its walls, and has a population of just over three hundred, but it is contiguous with the village of Rabat, which takes its name from the Arabic word for suburb, and has a population of over 11,000.
Mdina was inhabited and possibly first fortified by the Phoenicians around 700 BC. The Phoenicians called it Maleth. The region benefits from its strategic location on one of the island's highest points and at maximum distance from the sea. Under the Roman Empire Malta became a Municipium and the Roman Governor built his palace in Mdina. Tradition holds that the Apostle St. Paul resided in the city after his historical shipwreck on the islands.
The name and the layout of the city reflect the Fatimid Period which began in 870 AD and lasted until the Norman conquest of Malta in 1091 AD. The earliest surviving buildings date from the Norman period. The Normans surrounded the city with thick defensive fortifications and widened the moat. The city was also separated from its nearest town, Rabat.
Malta passed to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in 1530 AD. Mdina hosted the public ceremony in which each Grand Master swore an oath to protect the Maltese Islands and the rights of his subjects. A strong earthquake in 1693 led to the introduction of Baroque design within the city scape. The Knights of Malta rebuilt the cathedral, to the designs of Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafa. Palazzo Falzon, the Magisterial Palace and major restoration works are other projects undertaken by the Knights. The monumental gateway was designed by the French architect and military engineer Charles François de Mondion in 1724. Also, the entrance found today is not the original one, as the original south gate is about 5 meters to the left.
Composer Francesco Azopardi was born in Mdina." _ From WIKIPEDIA
© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved Adèla Stefanov