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European Island Castles

Castles in Malta

Cittadella, the Great Castle

Cittadella View (1) Clive Vella viewingmalta.com
The Great Castle in Gozo is a small fortified city lying in the heart of Victoria, having spectacular country views all around. It transformed into a castle during the Middle Ages, strengthening the city’s fortifications to protect the village communities from pirates raiding the Maltese Islands. The Cittadella still stands today with various museums like the Natural Science Museum, Archaeology Museum and the Folkore Museum. It is also place to the Gozitan Law Courts and Gozo’s Cathedral.

Fort Saint Angelo, formerly known as the Castle by the Sea

Fort St. Angelo birgu local council viewingmalta.com
Fort Saint Angelo was originally a castle in the Middle ages, which was later rebuilt by the Order of St. John as a fort. The fort was very important during the Great Siege of 1565 defending Malta from the Turks. The Fort’s strategic location was useful for British military purposes during the Second World War. Fort St. Angelo still stands today with restorations underway, it will be open for the public in the future.

Selmun Palace, resembles a castle but is not actually fortified

Selmun palace
Selmun Palace was founded by Grand Master De Wignacourt which was rented out to the knights for a place of relaxation and hunting of wild rabbits. The Palace has Baroque architecture, having a square plan with four pseudo-bastions, on the same architecture of Verdala Palace. These bastions were mainly built for aesthetic purposes as it looked like a military outpost.

Verdala Palace, a fortified castle-like palace

Verdala Castle viewingmalta.com
Verdala Palace was originally a hunting lodge for the Knights as Buskett was used for hunting. Verdala was designed by a Maltese Architect Girolamo Cassar. It has Renaissance Architecture, on a rectangular plan with pentagonal bastion like small towers on each corner. It still stands to this very day as the official summer residence of Malta’s President as well as hosting foreign Heads of State.

Whilst for Historical accuracy some of these may not be called castles; each of these palaces resemble castles in practically every way imaginable. One would be missing out if they did not go see these beautiful places in Malta.

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