Victoria

Victoria (officially Maltese Ir-Rabat Ghawdex ) is the capital of the Maltese island of Gozo with 6436 inhabitants. The city used to have the Arabic name Rabat, which means "suburb" (not to be confused with Rabat near Mdina on the main island of Malta). In 1897 Queen Victoria celebrated her diamond jubilee and the city name was changed at the request of the Bishop of Gozo Pietro Pace. Victoria is located in the center of Gozo, comprises just under a quarter of the island's population, making it the most populous city on the island. The residents are called Rabtin t'Ghawdex or Vittorjani.

 

The heart of the city is the citadel, which was fortified in the Bronze Age, around 1500 BC. It was restored between 1599 and 1603 in order to better protect the city from corsairs and Muslims. From the fortifications, you have a wonderful view over the island. In the citadel, there is a museum as well as Gozo's cathedral and the courthouse.

 

Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Marija (built in 1697. to designs by the Maltese Baroque master builder Lorenzo Gafà) is the main church of the Diocese of Gozo and Comino and is located within the citadel. It is ornately decorated, including a statue of Mary to whom the church is dedicated. A Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter previously stood on the same site. In the church, there is a trompe l'œil painting on the ceiling, which shows the inside of a dome, which was never built.

 

Market

The market square, called it-Tokk by the locals, is at the foot of the citadel on Pjazza Indipendenza; every day there is a market there until noon. There is also a memorial to the soldiers from Gozo who fell in World War II and who served in the British Army. Behind it is the headquarters of the Maltese Workers' Party for the Gozo and Comino area.

 

Villa Rundle Garden

Villa Rundle Garden is a park in central Victoria that opened around 1914. The city park was designed by the English governor Leslie Rundle. There are many native and imported plants in the garden. It was reopened in May 2012 after extensive renovation work that cost around 2.5 million euros and 85 percent of which was funded by the European Union.

 

Cultural buildings

 

The Teatru Astra was founded in January 1968. It fell into flames on November 8, 2003, and reopened in 2005. The house is on 9 Republic Street. It is maintained by the Socjetà Filarmonika La Stella. She is also the sponsor of the La Stella music band and organizes the patronage festival of the Basilica of San Gorg Il-Festa ta 'San Gorg.

 

Aurora Opera House at 100 Republic Street is in a 19th-century mansion that was remodeled in 1971-76. The house can accommodate up to 1600 visitors.