December 3, 2015

2093 MALTA - Gozo Island

2093 Gozo: 1. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed
Virgin of Ta' Pinu; 2. The Citadel; 3. Mġarr Harbour; 4. The Azure
Window; 5. The Ġgantija temples; 6. Xlendi Tower.

Gozo, the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago after the island of Malta itself, is more rural compared to its southeastern neighbour, and known for its scenic hills. It is also rich in historic locations such as the Ġgantija temples, which, along with the other Megalithic Temples of Malta, are among the world's oldest free-standing structures.

The most famous church on the island is the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu, near the village of Għarb, in the west of Gozo, on the edge of a cliff, and is dedicated to the  Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu. Its origins are unknown, but it is known that in 1575 it was in a very bad state. The current church was built in a neo-romantic style between 1922 and 1932

The Citadel lies in the heart of Victoria, the capital city of Gozo. Inhabited during the Bronze Age, and developed by the  Phoenicians, and then by the Romans, during the Medieval period it was transformed into a castle. The fortifications which exist today mainly date from the early 17th century, when they were rebuilt by the Order of Saint John, although some parts of the city walls date back to the 15th century.

The town of Mġarr grew up around the shallow harbour which shares its name. Ferry services to Malta were in operation by 1241, and fishing was already established. The Azure Window is a Limestone natural arch, situated near Dwejra Bay on the Inland Sea. The formation, which was created after two limestone sea caves collapsed, is popular with scuba divers.

About Ġgantija temples, the earliest of a series of megalithic temples in Malta, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with other similar structures, I wrote here. Xlendi Tower, the oldest of the four surviving watchtowers on Gozo, is one of the Lascaris towers and dates to 1650. This was built so pirates or Turks could not disembark from this bay.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series Malta Buses 2013 (The End of an Era - series II), about which I wrote here.

Gozo - Wikipedia
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta' Pinu - Wikipedia
Cittadella (Gozo) - Wikipedia
Mġarr, Gozo - Wikipedia
Azure Window -Wikipedia
Xlendi Tower - Wikipedia

Sender: Ana
Sent from Valletta (Malta), on 30.09.2013 

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