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Before I returned to Germany from Malta, I hired a car to see more of the tiny state. My friend Umei and I set off to explore the fishing villages, little bays and historic towns on the little island – and this turned out to be my favorite day in Malta!
One of the most memorable stop on our road trip was Mdina, a medieval hilltop town that still feels like the 15th century. It is believed that the city was first settled in 700BC by the Phoenicians – nearly 3,000 years ago! The walled city is the former capital of Malta and was suggested as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998 (it is still to be decided if Mdina is declared UNESCO World Heritage).
Walking around the narrow streets of the town, passing medieval churches, the palace and the well-preserved, for Malta typical limestone buildings felt like a trip back in time. Situated on a hilltop in the center of the island, you can see the entire island from the fortified city walls, and defenders of Mdina could see potential enemies arrive by boat long before their arrival.
Today, there are still only a limited number of delivery vehicles allowed within the city walls, and the lack of cars and mopeds, plus all the horse carriages that carry tourists through the town add to the ancient feel of the city. Mdina’s gates and bridges over the moat surrounding the walls are among the most beautiful city entrances to the still intact walled cities around Europe. Game Of Thrones fans might remember the city as King’s Landing in Season One.