Thursday, June 14, 2018

Malta, 2: Gozo Cittadella

From my study of contemporary Italian, I knew that "cittadella" was the citadel, the ancient ramparts to which Gozoans retreated in times of attack, and where many, the elites, that is, actually lived. I am sure the Cittadella repelled or outlasted many attacks and sieges, but, most famously, in 1551, after having been repelled from Mdina, on the Big Island, the raiding Turks took the Gozo Cittadella and hauled off nearly the whole population, 5,000, to become slaves. Saracen pigs! The Cittadella is now mostly a museum and shopping centre for made-in-Gozo artifacts. Sic transit, Gloria. BTW, "Cittadella" alliterates with "Shitaree," as in "the whole shitaree," a term I learned from my years studying Montana literature. Just FYI.
There is, of course, a multi-media intro to the whole experience, which is
indeed informative; here is Calypso, welcoming us to Gozo...

Entrance to the Cittadella, rebuilt many times, going back, no doubt, to
Neolithic times

Elevator repair on Gozo could be a major business
opportunity; the one at our hotel was out too, for a time

Gozo Cathedral; if it ain't Baroque...

So this is pretty much what Gozo looks like: from one town, you look around
and see half a dozen other towns on high points, with tilled fields in between;
look in any direction, and this is what you''ll see; von Clausewitz did not
invent the "high ground" thesis

Friendly fire?

Looking over Victoria to the next high ground

The Cittadella in its later years served as a prison; prisoners carved their
thoughts into the soft creamy limestone

At Tarzsen we'll see another scratching thought to be the oldest depiction of
a neolithic sailing vessel

Maybe it wasn't their 50th anniversary, but we are in good company; OK, we
skipped the cathedral

Remains of Cittadella dwellings

Us, there

Birds abhor a vacuum

The limestone is very soft

Prison cell

Thought for the day; no, for a lifetime

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