Victoria, Gozo

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Victoria
Città Victoria
Local council
Ir-Rabat
View over Victoria
View over Victoria
Flag of Victoria
Flag
Coat of arms of Victoria
Coat of arms
Motto: A Magna Maxima (From Great, Supreme)
Rabatghawdex-map.svg
Coordinates: 36°2′37″N 14°14′35″E / 36.04361°N 14.24306°E / 36.04361; 14.24306Coordinates: 36°2′37″N 14°14′35″E / 36.04361°N 14.24306°E / 36.04361; 14.24306
Country  Malta
Island Flag of Gozo.svg Gozo
Borders Fontana, Għasri, Kerċem, Xagħra, Xewkija, Żebbuġ
Government
 • Mayor Samuel Azzoppardi (PN)
Area
 • Total 2.9 km2 (1.1 sq mi)
Population (Nov 2005)
 • Total 6,414
 • Density 2,200/km2 (5,700/sq mi)
Demonym Rabti t'Għawdex (m), Rabtija t'Għawdex (f), Rabtin t'Għawdex (pl)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code VCT
Dialing code 356
Patron saint St. George
St. Mary
Day of festa 3rd Sunday of July (St. George)
15 August (St. Mary)
Website Official website

Victoria or Città Victoria is the capital of Gozo, an island of the Maltese archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. The town has a total population of 6,414 (November 2005), and by population is the largest locality in Gozo.

Victoria is the name given in 1897 by the British government on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, at the request of the Bishop of Malta, Mons. Sir Pietro Pace. However Gozitans still often refer to it by its old name, Rabat. The area around Victoria, situated on a hill near the centre of the island, has been settled since Neolithic times.

The Citadel[edit]

The interior of the Cathedral of Assumption inside the citadel in Victoria.
The exterior of the Cathedral of Assumption.

In the heart of Victoria lies the Citadella (Citadel), formerly known as il Castello, which has been the centre of activity of the island since possibly Neolithic times, but is known to be first fortified during the Bronze Age c. 1500 BC. It was later developed by the Phoenicians and continued into becoming a complex Acropolis by Roman times.

The north side of the Citadel dates back to the Aragonese domination period. The south flank, overlooking Victoria, was re-constructed under the Knights of St. John, namely between 1599 and 1603, after Ottomans invaded the city in 1551. The massive defensive stone walls of the fortifications rise above the town and were built by the Knights to protect the village communities from foraging corsairs attempting to take slaves and threatened invasion of Moslem forces fighting Christendom.

Within its walls lies a fine 17th century baroque Cathedral designed by Lorenzo Gafà, the Maltese architect who also built the Cathedral of Mdina. It is said that it lies on the site where a Roman temple dedicated to Juno once stood. It is most famous for the remarkable trompe l'oeil painting on its ceiling, which depicts the interior of a dome that was never built.

Local Council[edit]

The current members of the Victoria Local Council are:

  • Dr.Samuel Azzopardi (Mayor, PN)
  • Josef Schembri (Vice Mayor, PN)
  • Anthony Briffa (PL)
  • Joseph Debrincat (PL)
  • Marcell Tabone (PN)
  • Maria Portelli (PN)
  • Michel Buttigieg (PL)

Sports[edit]

Victoria is home to three football clubs, SK Victoria Wanderers, Victoria Hotspurs F.C and Oratory Youths, and two well equipped gyms.

Feasts of Victoria, Gozo[edit]

Five feasts are celebrated in Victoria, the island of Gozo, the two main feasts are the feast of St. George and the feast of Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The feast dedicated to St. Mary, devoted in its Cathedral situated in the centre of the Citadel dominating the whole island is celebrated on the 15 August. The other one is dedicated to St. George, the patron saint of Gozo celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of July in St George's Basilica in the heart of Victoria.

In Victoria there is the feast of the Immaculate Conception in the church of St Francis this feast is celebrated on 8 December of every year by the Franciscan conventual friars. A feast of Our Lady of Divine Grace is celebrated as the last feast of the feast season by the Franciscan capuchin frias in the church dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Grace. The feast of St. John Bosco is celebrated in the Don Bosco Oratory.

Notable people[edit]

St George's Parish[edit]

Saint George's Basilica.

St. George's Basilica, Malta, which covers the whole of Victoria, caters for a little over half of the population of Victoria, as it is a personal parish (as opposed to other parishes who are territorial) operating in the city of Victoria. Its parish church dedicated to St George has the status of a Basilica. This church was built in the 1670s and suffered severe damage in the earthquake of 1693. A new façade was built in 1818. The dome and the aisles are of recent construction (1930s and 1940s). There are several works of art in this church which include the painting of the dome and ceiling by Gian Battista Conti of Rome and other paintings and sculptures by Mattia Preti, Giuseppe d'Arena, Stefano Erardi, Alessio Erardi, Francesco V. Zahra, Giuseppe Calì, and contemporary Alfred Camilleri Cauchi and John L. Grima. The titular statue of St George was carved from solid wood by Pietro Paolo Azzopardi in 1838 and is the first titular statue on the island. The area over which the church is built is of considerable archaeological interest, with evidence of activity dating back to at least to the Roman period.

The parish celebrates two feasts during the year: 23 April, the official date celebrating the death of the martyr, and the third Sunday of July, when the solemn festivities in honour of Gozo's patron saint are held.

In February 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.

Tourist attractions[edit]

Villa Rundle[edit]

Busts of de Soldanis and Laurent Ropa in Villa Rundle.

These gardens are situated between Republic Street and the Main Car Park in Victoria. One can see in these gardens a bronze bust of the Gozitan 18th-century historian and grammarian Can. Gian Pietro Agius de Soldanis and another of Gozo born French poet and writer Laurent Ropa. One can also find a memorial commemorating the invasion of Gozo by Ottomans in 1551.

Churches in Victoria[edit]

  • St Mary's Cathedral
  • St. George's Basilica, Malta
  • St Francis Conventional 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)

Zones in Victoria[edit]

  • Belliegħa
  • Ċittadella (Citadel)
  • Demnija
  • Gelmus
  • Għajn Lukin
  • Il-Ġnien
  • Qasam San Ġorġ
  • Sellum
  • Ta' Ħamet
  • Ta' l-Ibraġ
  • Ta' Mliet
  • Ta' Wara s-Sur
  • Taċ-Ċawla
  • Taflija
  • Tal-Far
  • Tal-Grazzja
  • Tal-Maltija
  • Tal-Mejda
  • Villa Rundle
  • Wied Tal-Grazzja
  • Kabuccini

Victoria Main Roads[edit]

  • Pjazza Fuq it-Tomba (Tomba Square)
  • Pjazza Indipendenza (Independence Square)
  • Pjazza San Frangisk (St Francis Square)
  • Pjazza San Gorg (St George's Square)
  • Pjazza Santu Wistin (St Augustine Square)
  • Triq Dingli (Dingli Street)
  • Triq Enriku Mizzi (Enrico Mizzi Street)
  • Triq Fortunato Mizzi (Fortunato Mizzi Street)
  • Triq Gedrin
  • Triq George Borg Olivier
  • Triq Għajn Qatet
  • Triq Ġużè Ellul Mercer (G. Ellul Mercer Street)
  • Triq id-Dawwara
  • Triq il-Kappuċċini (Capuchins' Street)
  • Triq il-Papa Ġwanni Pawlu II (Pope John Paul II Street)
  • Triq ir-Repubblika (Republic Street)
  • Triq it-Tabib Anton Tabone (Dr Anton Tabone Street)
  • Triq l-Ewropa (Europe Street)
  • Triq l-Imgħallem (Foreman Street)
  • Triq Mejlak (Mejlak Road)
  • Triq Monsinjur S. Lanzon (Mgr. S. Lanzon Street)
  • Triq Ninu Cremona (Ninu Cremona Street)
  • Triq Putirjal (Main Gate Street)
  • Triq Sant' Orsla (St Ursola Street)
  • Triq Ta' Kerċem (Kercem Road)
  • Triq Tomba (Tomba Street)
  • Triq Viani (Viani Street)
  • Triq Wara s-Sur (By the Bastion Street)
  • Triq Wied il-Lunzjata (Lunzjata Valley Road)i

External links[edit]