A walk around the Citadel at night
The Gozo Cittadella is often visited during daytime, when its museums, the interpretation centre and the magnificent Catheral are open for the public. A daytime visit to the Cittadella is a must. However, we feel that this site is also worthy of a night visit and, unfortunately, many tourists tend to give a night walk at the Cittadella a miss. We love to give our guests tips on how to best experience the island when on holiday here. A night walk at the Cittadella is definitely something we recommend.
First things first, the Gozo Citadel is magnificently lit and this gives photo enthusiasts countless of photo opportunities that will impress your social media followers or friends back at home. Once inside the Cittadella, you’ll feel a sense of peace and tranquility especially since it’s barely visited at night. The quietness is only disturbed by the rustling of the wind, the church bells, or a curious cat coming to say hi.
The Citadel square is home to some very important buildings, namely the island’s only Cathedral and the Gozo Law Courts. When facing the baroque Cathedral, we suggest taking the street to your left to start your night walk around this historical place.
The winding silent streets inside the island’s old fortified town might give you an eerie feeling as you wonder about the people they’ve sheltered and stories they’ve witnessed throughout the town’s existence.
One of these stories is the well known siege of 1551. In July of that year, the Gozo Cittadella was besieged by the Ottoman Empire when over 90% of the island’s population was taken into slavery by the Turks.
One of the streets inside the Citadel is named after Don Bernardo de Opuo. Legend has it that de Opou bravely fought during the Ottoman onslaught of 1551. When Bernardo heard that the Cittadella was about to be attacked by the Ottoman Empire, he decided to kill his own wife and two daughters, preferring death over slavery, before bravely fighting the invading forces. He was eventually killed by the Turks and a plaque still lies outside his house commemorating his death.
Whilst wandering around the Cittadella, you’ll notice remnants of houses and buildings that have been left untouched since that fateful day. If you walk onto the bastions, you’ll see the glittering city lights of Victoria that lies just below the Cittadella. From here you can also see the lit domes of most of Gozo’s churches. Most prominent of them all is the magnificent Xewkija Rotunda that dwarves the surrounding buildings, a true masterpiece in local limestone workmanship.
We also recommend having a look at the lit mechanism of the clock tower and going onto the bridge to see the Cathedral from a different point of view.
The silence, the peace, the beautiful lighting, the views, the stories – a night walk at the Gozo Cittadella is definitely something we would recommend.
Ask us for help
At First Gozo, we’re always out and about enjoying the wealth of beauty that tiny Gozo offers its visitors. Despite having lived here for most of our lives, we always manage to discover new nooks and crannies that leave us surprised.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us. We pride ourselves in having hosted hundreds of guests from across the globe, and from this experience we can give you great advise on how to best experience the island.
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