"The Mdina Gate" Mdina Things to Do Tip by starship
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During the time of Arab rule, enhancement of the fortifications of Mdina became a huge undertaking. Higher, solid stone walls were added and a moat was dug for additional fortification --- Mdina eventually resembled other Moorish fortresses of the time such as in North Africa. However, these changes greatly reduced the size of the city and required more formal gates for entry.
The "Mdina Gate" is probably most widely recognized and most used by tourists to gain entry into "the Silent City." Two stone sculptures on pedestals frame the approach to the stone bridge and ornamental gate. The gate leads directly to the Piazza San Publius in front of the Vilhena Palace, now home of the national Museum of Natural History.
The city sustained considerable damage during the earthquake of 1693. It was Grand Master Fra Antoine Manoel de Vilhena who restored the Palazzo Vilhena (originally the Magisterial Palace) and the main gate or Mdina Gate around the year 1725 and added Baroque embellisments making it the distinctive entrance to this special city as we see it today.
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