Mdina (Citta Vecchia)

Photo by Astraftis.

Mdina (Citta Vecchia) is part of the Tentative list of Malta in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Mdina is a fortified urban settlement on a hill in the centre of Malta's main island. Mdina was founded in the 8th century BCE by Phoenician settlers and was the capital of Malta until the medieval period. The townscape is characterised by Baroque architecture, most notable the St Paul's Cathedral built between 1697 and 1702.

Map of Mdina (Citta Vecchia)

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Spain - 12-Feb-24 -

Mdina (Citta Vecchia) (T) by Alikander99

I'm gonna go against the current and actually discourage inscription. I know this IS a very popular tentative site and it's indeed a really nice fortified city. My issue is its OUV.

Mdina IS the old capital of malta, and It has been inhabited since the bronze age. Despite this It has little more than its layout to show for Its old age. There's nothing phoenician, or Roman, or islamic and there's only a couple of medieval components in the city (which are not really that remarkable). As such its strong suit IS actually its well preserved fortified baroque ensemble. And that I see as a problem

You don't need much time in malta to realise which architectural style defines the country. It's baroque. there's baroque In every corner, but that's especially true in la Valeta. Which does have some truly remarkable examples like the cocathedral and IS already (and rightfully) a WHS.

Imo Mdina IS left in a vacuum where Its inscription wouldn't really add anything new to the list. La Valeta already shows local baroque architecture, the history of the knights and has older and more impressive visible fortifications. At the same time the medieval heritage of mdinna, which should differentiate It from la Valeta, IS pretty much nonexistant. As such I don't think the city would adequately represent the fascinating pre-knights history of the island. So it's left without any clear OUV. Perhaps its best chance IS as yet another baroque city in the mediterranean. And there's fierce competition in that slot (Dubrovnik, val di noto, la Valeta)

So even though it's a really nice city and I would in no way lament its inscription...its a no from me. At least, until I get a good look at their criteria and comparative analysis.


UK - 28-Aug-14 -

I have been to Malta several times, but only on this visit did I get to Mdina. I was absolutely amazed by the beauty and atmosphere of the place: it leaves other mediaeval walled towns, such as Carcassone, standing. Gorgeous, stylish and beautifully preserved, its a mystery why this lovely little gem of a city does not have world heritage status.


Malta - 01-Apr-14 -

This is one of my favourite places in Malta and now that the renovation works are ready even more so. The former capital city of Malta offers various fine buildings (especially those deriving from the Normans), a beautiful co-cathedral, great fortifications and it offers a spectacular panoramic view of the island. The imposing view of Mdina when driving from Mosta is captivating. If you're lucky enough to be in Malta in mid-March make sure to head to Mdina in the evening for some fine fireworks.

Els Slots

The Netherlands - 10-Aug-08 -

Mdina (Citta Vecchia) (T) by Els Slots

Mdina is the former capital of Malta, and located in the interior. After a couple of days in this country I have learned not to have too high expectations. Mdina turns out to be the number one highlight however. Despite large scale renovations going on, Mdina's atmosphere is chique, quiet (no cars!), clean and most of all enchanting. This walled city has a very Arabic feel, with its sober walls and splendid detailing in the doors and statues. There are also some fine palaces.

Full Name
Mdina (Citta Vecchia)
Urban landscape - Post-medieval European
1998 Added to Tentative List

Unesco Website: Mdina (Citta Vecchia)

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Mdina (Citta Vecchia) (T)


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