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Victoria
Victoria or Citta 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 Citadella

In the heart of Victoria lies the Citadella (Citadel), 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 approximately around 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, while the south flank, overlooking Victoria, was re-constructed under the Knights of St. John, namely between 1599 and 1603 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 Gafa, 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.



Sports

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

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 and the another one dedicated to St.George, one of the patron saints of Gozo celebrated 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.



Band Clubs

  • La Stella Philharmonic Society (Is-Socjeta Filarmonika La Stella) organises the annual external feast of Saint George in Victoria.  La Stella Philharmonic Society has a theatre, Teatru Astra, in which numerous cultural activities are held every year.  The Society also organises the Festival Mediterranea, which offers all that Gozo boasts of in the cultural and artistic arena: opera, classical and symphonic music, a wealth of archaeology and history that is Gozo’s heritage, folklore and cuisine.  The festival is held every year in October/November.
  • Leone Philharmonic Society (Is-Socjeta Filarmonika Leone) is the first band club in Gozo.  It organizes the feast of Saint Mary. It also has a theatre, the Teatru Aurora in which every year is organized various cultural activities including an opera during October/November.
 

Notable people

St George's Parish

This parish, 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 facade 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 Cali, 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.



Villa Rundle

These gardens are situated between Republic Street and the Main Car Park in Victoria.  One can seein 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.



Zones in Victoria


  • Belliegha
  • Cittadella (Citadel)
  • Demnija
  • Gelmus
  • Ghajn Lukin
  • Il-Gnien
  • Qasam San Gorg
  • Sellum
  • Ta' Hamet
  • Ta' l-Ibrag
  • Ta' Mliet
  • Ta' Wara s-Sur
  • Tac-Cawla
  • Taflija
  • Tal-Far
  • Tal-Grazzja
  • Tal-Maltija
  • Tal-Mejda
  • Villa Rundle
  • Wied Tal-Grazzja
  • Kabuccini