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This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

They Came, They Conquered And They Called Me Medina

As the years passed the empire weakened and was split in two. For a while this island fell under the Eastern Roman Emperor at Byzantium. But trouble was brewing in the east. The Arabs were thirsty for land and conquest. Fuelled by their new faith, they spread across the Mediterranean like a swarm of locusts in a field of wheat. There were not many places that put up a fight. By 870AD Malta had a new overlord and, as for me, I became who I am today.  The Arabs decreased my size, dug a moat around me and built high walls for protection.

Medieval Mdina 038

Medieval Mdina 161

And they renamed me Medina. The narrow, winding streets that you see today have not changed much from that day to this but life changed drastically during those years. The Arabs brought with them a new culture, a new religion. Slowly, but surely, the native people took up these new traditions. Some did it of their own free will, others under duress. From my perch on these lofty bastions I surveyed the land below me and all the surrounding sea but, as yet, there was no power strong enough in the Mediterranean to overthrow the Hakem, the ruler of the island.

Fontanella 010

Medieval Mdina 020

Medieval Mdina 151

But something in my bones told me that the status quo would not last forever. If I had learnt one thing from my almost 2000 year existence it was that this sea is always in turmoil. As one power waned, another would rise up in its shadow. I knew that the winds of change would soon start to blow again and my story would unfold whichever way the fates dictated. All I could do was wait.

Medieval Mdina 152Mdina (30)Mdina (55)

10 comments:

  1. I was in Mdina yesterday and found this very confusing sign post: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/sign-post-mdina-malta/

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  2. Thank you for this beautiful walk!

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  3. You live in a country with such great history. Great photos, as usual!

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  4. The sight of those walls makes me wonder about the smell, for some reason. It seems like it would be chalky.

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  5. Replies
    1. i purposefully left the people out. I like the place to look kind of ghostly. It's not know as the Silent City for nothing :)

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  6. Medina is so beautiful and awesome but no people
    Property dealer in Delhi

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great post!! very informative.
    Thank you very much for such a lovely and informative post.
    Navratna

    ReplyDelete

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