City Guide: Mdina and Rabat
Mdina on Malta is also known as “the silent city”. Its history dates back about 4000 years. Once capital of Malta, the medieval city with just about 230 inhabitants, has kept most of its charm.
During different times Mdina has according to its rulers been referred to in various ways. One of the names which still describe Mdina very well was: Citta Notabile (in English: the noble city). The name says it all: Mdina is characterised by a number of beautiful buildings and palaces, which from the 12th century onwards served as homes to some of Malta’s most noble families. It comes at no surprise: Mdina is a very unique city in Europe and a prime example of an ancient walled city.
Similarly to Valletta the architecture in Mdina contains baroque elements. Due to its long history, however, you can also still see many medieval elements in the historical buildings.
St. Paul’s Cathedral and Cathedral Museum Mdina
In the centre of the small town you can find a beautiful sandstone cathedral as well as a museum right next to it.
Mdina is very small, so you can just have a stroll around it and enjoy the views from up there as well as the brilliant architecture of these ancient sandstone villas and houses.
Glassware Manufacturing in Mdina
Across the island you can find shops selling handmade glass products. Glassmaking has a rich history in Malta. We found a gourgeous christmas tree in Valletta decorated with these glass ornaments. Mdina Malta has also won several awards in the past.
Rabat, in contrast to Mdina, is a bit bigger and less spectacular. Nonetheless, when you’ve come all the way to see Mdina, it would be sad to miss Rabat. Before catching the bus back, which only runs every hour, we made a quick detour to Rabat. The town used to be part of the Roman City of Melita and thus still hosts a few historical sites and relics from this time.
For instance, you can visit St. Paul’s church and the catacombes.
St. Paul plays a very important role in Malta, as he is said to have brought the Christendom to Malta after suffering from shipwreck.
Our overall impressions of Mdina and Rabat
We both really enjoyed our visit of Mdina and Rabat. Especially in the low season in winter it is very quiet in this small town, so you can relax while taking in the beautiful views. When you’re in Malta, make sure to visit this place!
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