While Malta’s gorgeous, crystal-clear water makes it best known today as a Mediterranean vacation hotspot, the island nation also has its share of incredible history.
The land was settled in 5200 BCE – almost seven thousand years ago – by the Phoenicians.
The country is strewn with the ruins of ancient Megalithic temples (built around 3000 BCE) and boasts a still-functional walled medieval village crowning the “mountain” at the center of the island.
This town, the “Silent City” of Mdina, used to be Malta’s capital and dates back to 700 BCE. It’s still home to approximately three hundred – likely very wealthy – individuals today.
Mdina looms impressively from below, but once you’re within the walls it’s actually quite small. You can visit the church or the museum or any one of the dozens of shops, but the real magic comes from exploring the narrow, twisting streets.
Most are wide enough for a horse-drawn carriage to slip through, but just barely! Decorated with brightly colored plants, iron light fixtures, and cheerfully painted doors, it’s not an exaggeration to say that these quiet historical passageways were the highlight of our trip to Mdina.
Walking silently through the street and trailing your fingers along the stucco wall, you can’t help but imagine what it would have been like to live here thousands of years ago…
And while I was primarily enamored with what’s on the inside, even I can admit that the view from the top isn’t exactly one to scoff at!
From Mdina you can see much of Malta – its farms, cities, and the sea – laid out before you.