Thursday, 20 June 2013

Thursday, or Thereabouts - June 20, 2013

A travelogue day - in M'dina, Malta

Malta seems a bit of an odd duck in the middle of the Mediterranean. Its closest neighbour is Sicily, some 92km to the north and Tunisia lies quite a ways to the west of the island nation. The native tongue is a curious blend of ancient influences - Phoenician and Arabic. Over its 5000+ year history Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Berbers, Turks, Spaniards and even the British have laid claim to the land. Sitting in the cathedral square, one hears the strange language yet sees distinctively English red phone booths and round post boxes.

The greatest influence on the island came from the Crusaders in the middle ages. In 1530 the Spanish gave Malta to the Knights of the order of St. John of Jerusalem. These Crusaders fortified and built up the cities using the natural sand coloured limestone with its characteristic yellow-beige tone.
After the ship docked in Valetta, we struck out for M’dina, the jewel in the medieval crown, an enclosed town that 
has been preserved, restored, and  maintained to its 15th century state. A few very wealthy families still call the narrow winding cobble stone streets, home. As we walked through this Crusaders' stronghold on a gorgeous sunny May 1st of this year, I was drawn to the door knockers and bell pulls. 
From simple to ornate, welcoming to foreboding, I have never seen such an array of door hardware in one place. 
Have a look:

There is of course much more to M'dina than door knockers, but I'm saving that for another time.


  1. am thinking we should go on a photography outing one the door jewellery
    ..i'm a window/door photo taker
    ..they are beautiful

  2. Thanks Wendy! I love the expression "Door Jewellery"! And yes, lets go on a photo shoot. A.

  3. Stunning 'door jewellery'...yea, I like that term too...waiting to see the Medina photos....