Mdina & Rabat
Click on the Pictures for Enlargement

In the thick walled little city, with its five hundred square yards of quiet passages, of high walls and crested gateways and the squat Norman-towered cathedral packed with scared silent people, hope was faltering too. At night, home-made ropes, despite all Adorne's warnings, trickled over the parapets and hurried shadows, swarming over ungainly, with bundle or baby, dropped to the ditches outside Mdina and ran - ran to disembowelment and slavery, for now the Janisseries were in place, ringing the city, drawing silently closer and closer over the plain. Of the three hundred men, women and children who tried to leave Mdina on these two nights, none escaped.
The Disorderly Knights, Part Two, Chapter Three

Mdina is the old capital of Malta. It was there in Roman Times, and there's a nice little Roman museum just outside the city walls, which is built over the remains of a Roman villa - you can see the mosaic floors in situ.

Mdina was little used by the Knights. After the attack in the 1551 raid, the Turks returned during the siege of 1565. However, by this time the fortifications were so fearsome that they took one look and left! During the Great Siege, troops from Mdina were sent out to harry the Turks besieging Birgu and Senglea with some success.

Because of the changes to the fortifications of Mdina that took place between 1551 and 1565, it's not really possible to tell where the events of Disorderly Knights occurred.

Mdina is pronounced iMdina or uMdina - not Medina.

The Walls of Mdina
The walls of Mdina. Much better than the low crumbling walls which were so hard to defend in 1551.
This picture is taken from the walls of Mdina, looking out (I think) to the north. The location is the Fontanella cafe which I can recommend for its view. The chocolate cake I am told (I do not like Chocolate Cake) is also very good! The flag flying in the picture is the traditional flag of Malta - an inverse St George's cross.
Mdina Cafe
Triq Villegaignon
Mdina has a Triq Villegaignon. Ring any bells?
In Mdina, there is a small museum to the Knights of St John. The banner of each of teh knights is on display. Click on the picture to see clearly whose banner this is.
Banner of Juan de Homedes
The Catacombs, Rabat

The suburb which surrounds Mdina is named Rabat (which means 'suburb'). There are ancient catacombs here. And it's very easy to get lost in them.

Updated 15 Jul 2001.
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