Citadel Site Guide Book

    This is a guide book for our Citadel site which combines 4 attractions – Gunpowder Magazine; Silos; battery & small WWII shelters.

In this publication, the author gives a short history of the Gran Castello – more popularly known with the inhabitants as Iċ-Ċittadella (The Citadel) perched on the hill in the centre of Malta’s largest sister island, Gozo – and its architectural attractions. He states that this fortress ‘played a leading act in the Island’s affairs from at least the mid-second millennium BC’, and went on helping in the defence of the inhabitants until it was decommissioned by the War Department, under British rule, in 1868. A breathtaking colourful aerial panoramic photo of the dominating bastions, with the Gozo cathedral, some historical buildings, and old houses in ruins within, spreads over pages 6 and 7.Guide Book

     In the short chapter about the Old Gunpowder Magazine, Vella relates the relative importance this magazine had, in the past, with the defence principal gun platforms – bastions, demi-bastions, cavaliers, a redoubt, and a battery. A colourful digital design of St John’s Cavalier and Demi-Bastion – created by photographer Daniel Cilia, who designed and illustrated the book with marvellous colour photos all throughout – guides the reader to the different posts, with a legend which helps one understand the raison d’etre of this part of the citadel. 

     Maybe the most impressive attraction at this site are the enormous grain silos erected on the site of the late medieval Hebrew Ghetto next to St John’s Cavalier. Together they could hold about 100 cubic meters of grain, from which bread, the staple diet of the inhabitants, could be made. In this chapter Vella gives details about the silos and their importance in the daily life of the Gozitans. Until very recently, before being handed down to Wirt Għawedx, the silos were managed by the Water Services Corporation and used as water reservoirs.

     The last attractions at this site about which Vella writes are the World War II shelters and the Battery.  One of the shelters has been re-furbished in the style of the time while the battery provides a wonderful view of most of Gozo.

     A wintry panoramic photograph of the northern part of Gozo, together with a legend of the hills, valleys, and inhabited places, is spread on pages 28 and 29; this is a scene which may be enjoyed from up the northern bastions.

     Vella concludes his researched study with a short overview of Rabat’s historic core and beyond.

     The publication, which was sponsored by two members of the NGO,  has an introduction  by then Wirt Għawdex president, Mr Franco Masini and is profusely illustrated with excellent colour photos by professional photographer Daniel Cilia.

Cost: €5

The book may be obtained from the site or by contacting us at

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