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Gozo is the sister island of Malta. Gozo a third of the size of Malta itself, and only about 7miles (about 10km) across. However, it has several town and lots of very big churches. As we know, almost the entire Gozitan population was carried off an enslaved during the 1551 raid. In 1565 the island was not attacked (been there, done that, got the captives?) and the fortifications had been considerably beefed up.

"But on Gozo, the scrap of land to Malta's north, there were good farmsteads and one or two well-plenished palaces, defended only by the Governor de Césel's hilltop citadel, commanding the town of Rabat at its foot."
The Disorderly Knights: Part Two, Chapter Four

Mgarr Harbour

This is taken on the ferry approach to Gozo and is the main harbour of Mgarr. The hill in the distance with the church on top is not the citadel, which is further inland and cannot be seen from the sea.

This harbour area is relatively modern, with concrete harbour walls. However, it is probably from this area that the boat of Gozitan refugees made there way to St Angelo only to be refused entry by Juan de Homedes and sent back to Gozo by Gabriel the following morning, having sheltered in the sail loft overnight.

I think this episode is probably fictional.

On the north side of Gozo, with a very strange cone-shaped hill on the other side of Xwieni bay, are some salt pans. These are of particular interest given the prominence of salt pans in the Niccolo books. However, whereas the salt pans in Scotland depends on evaporation by artificial mean, these salt pans seem to rely on using the heat of the sun.
Salt Pans
Salt Pans

The salt pans at Xwieni are on a slope. They had been filled with sea-water as a result of a storm a few days previously. There is no indication of how the pans were filled when no storm was available: the Mediterranean being tideless (in fact, a twice daily tide would have washed out the pans making evaporation pointless).

These salt pans are no longer used. Malta, if she chooses, can get all the salt she needs from her industrial desalination plants which provide much of the fresh water for the islands.

This is the sea water near the bay of the salt pans at Xwieni.
Clear Salt Walter
Xwieni bay
Xwieni bay at eventide.
Most of the sights we saw on Gozo were at the Citadel where the house of Galatian was. Click on the picture for a more detailed page with photos of the Citadel.
Map of the Gan Castello

Updated 08 Jul 2001.
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Updated 08 Jul 2001.
Feedback? Broken Link?