Rabat lies at the centre of the island and most of the roads pass through it.
You can catch the 301 or 303 Bus from Imgarr Harbour to arrive in Victoria. The bus will stop in Victoria Bus Terminus. A day ticket costs €1.50.
Pretty much everything worthwhile is within a small area where cars can't go, so on foot is the only option.
The town of Rabat was renamed Victoria by the English in the 19th century. In common with many places in Malta and Gozo its foreign name is often ignored and it is referred to in the original Arabic.
This can cause confusion since there is a town of the same name on the main island of Malta.
The name "Rabat" in Arabic is a commonly used term describing the suburb outside the fortified part of the town or keep.
Firstly go up to the Citadella and walk around the entire perimeter and enjoy the very beautiful 360 degree view of Gozo at your feet. Visit the cathedral of Gozo, and the Gozo archaeological museum with Islamic tombstone, ask for Steven, show interest and knowledge and he might give you a personal tour of the museum. The other museums in the Citadella are of considerably less interest.
On the way down from the citadel one can see the Baroque Basilica of Saint George. Saint George's Basilica is a must see for first time visitors. The parish dates back to the 12th century but the present church was built in the 17th century. During the years it has been adorned with multiple treasures, thus nicknaming the Basilica as the 'Golden Church'.
In March 2013 the Basilica opened the doors to its new modern museum, one of a kind in the country. It is the first building built for the purpose of a museum. The Museum and cultural centre, named as Heart of Gozo: Il-Hagar, displays a rich collection of historical and artistic artefacts previously inaccessible to the general public. The museum is found on the left side of the Basilica.
Other places of interest include the War Memorial in Independence Square. This monument commemorates Gozitans who died in WWII. The monument is a bronze statue of Christ the King made by sculptor Carlo Pisi of Rome. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the monument on 7 May 1954.
The Banca Giuratale is a semi-circular baroque building, which today houses the Victoria Local Council, in Independence Square. The building dates back to 1733 where it served as the official premises of the jurats of Gozo. It was commissioned by Grand Master De Vilhena and the Governor of Gozo.
Churches in VictoriaEdit
Victoria is adorned with many churches, considering its size. They include:
- St Mary's Cathedral
- St. George's Basilica
- St Francis Church (Franciscan Friars)
- St James the Greater Church
- Savina Church
- St Augustine Church (Augustinian Friars)
- St John Bosco Oratory Church
- St Martha's Church
- Annunciation Church
- Cana Movement Church
- Good Shepherd Church
- Manresa Church (Jesuits)
- Our lady of Grace Church (Capuchin Friars)
- Our Lady Help of Christians Church (Salesian Nuns)
- Immaculate Heart of Mary Church (Franciscan Nuns)
- Our Lady of Pompei Church (Dominican Nuns)
- St Barbara's Church (Citadel)
- St Joseph's Church (Citadel)
- Immaculate Conception Church (Seminary)
- Nazareth Chapel (Poor Clares)
- Once a year there are traditional horse races through the centre of town.
- There are 2 main feasts celebrated in Victoria during Summer. The First is that of St George celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of July, while the second is that of The Assumption which is celebrated on the 15 August.
- The Victoria International Arts Festival is a non profit organisation which organises 5 weeks of daily cultural events Jun-Jul. These concerts are all free of charge.
On the main square of Rabat there is a market during weekdays selling mostly touristic wares.
- Ta'Rikardu, Triq Iz-Zenqa. (36.036605,14.2384864) edit
In the Citadel when one takes the alley up the left side of the Church there is a door with a barrel next to it with local produce on display on top of it. The place is called Tal' Rikardu. If one goes inside and up the stairs one can order the main dish they do here, a filling plate of fresh farmer food. They have recently expanded the menu to include fabulous maletese revioli, and fenkata by order.
- Eldorado (Gorg Borg Oliver Street)
- Ġgantija Temples are situated in the nearby town of Xaghra. They are regarded as one of the oldest free-standing buildings in the world, as such they have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Buses run regularly between Victoria and Xaghra, except on Sunday's. A taxi should cost around €18 return.
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