The Ċittadella, the Citadel or Gran Castello, as it also known, is a major landmark on the island of Gozo. History indicates that the hill was inhabited during the Neolithic times, and by the medieval period, the settlement had taken the shape of a castle.
Presiding supremely over the island from the centre, the castle has withstood the test of time! The structure we see today dates back to the period of the Knights of St. John and its restoration in 2016 brought out a resplendent Citadel.
There’s no doubt that today the Citadel is majestically captured on many photos.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Just before you enter the Citadel, it’s best to visit the Visitors Centre. The audio-visual presentation brings to life the Siege of Gozo of 1551 and it has been named as the best visitor attraction project at an international awards ceremony held in London.
Once you’re through the main door, you will enjoy the main piazza that is surrounded by impressive architecture on all sides.
Wandering through the narrow cobbled streets, one cannot ignore and think what these buildings must have seen over the centuries.
Watch out for the little details like the niche dedicated to Our Lady of Soledad and the old small doorway that’s on the same street as the Museum of Archaeology.
Among the various buildings to visit within the Citadel, there’s the Cathedral, a stunning piece of Baroque architecture by the architect Lorenzo Gafa, that comes complete with a masterpiece trompe l’oeil that tricks the eye into believing that there is a real dome.
You cannot explore the Citadel and ignore the view from the ramparts and bastions.
Not for the claustrophobic, but at the Citadel, you can also explore the old grain silos.
And if during the day, the Citadel is amazing, at night, the atmosphere of times gone by descends to magically capture the hearts and the souls of all those who set foot inside the bastioned walls.