"Old Capital and Home to the First Church on Malta" Rabat by DSwede
Rabat Travel Guide: 116 reviews and 412 photos
Mdina, otherwise known as the silent city, is not only an example of a living citadel, but also of a living ghost town. The explanation I heard was that 8 families live within the walls. The old fortified citadel sits proudly on the top of the bluffs, as it has for hundreds of years since it was once the original capital city of the island nation. But now, it is a small maze of cobble stone streets, museums and souvenir shops.
Just outside of the ramparts of the Mdina is the town of Rabat. While Rabat also has deep historical roots, it survives today on a combination of tourism and on normal daily commerce. One notable historical tale of Rabat is that of Saint Paul. The story goes that Saint Paul, along with Saint Luke, was shipwrecked on the island and in need of shelter and refuge. They resided in a grotto, in what was a former Roman prison (the chain clips are still visible in the ceiling). To make a long story short, they wound up earning favor with the locals, formed the first church on the island (the grotto itself), and baptized the First Man of the Island. St Paul’s Cathedral now stands directly above the grotto. Both Pope John Paul and Benedict have prayed in the site.
For thoughts on my overall time here, feel free to visit my Malta page.
(for more pictures, feel free to visit my Malta Gallery. If you enjoy the pictures, please leave a comment.)
- Pros:Size and signs make it pedestrian friendly
- Cons:Many horse carriages pushing for business
- In a nutshell:A relatively small and quiet capital city despite its long history, good for a casual visit.
Once the political center of Malta, Mdina and Rabat were obvious choices in the old days of where people would go for... more travel advice
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