The city of Mdina on the island Malta may not be the first item on your bucket list. But once you enter the city gate and pass through the large walls, you will find a true gem in the Mediterranean.
Mdina is also known as the silent city and was once the island’s capital. The old town within the city walls is filled with narrow alleys and lavish churches. Both the 17th century St Paul’s Cathedral and the smaller (but very pretty) Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady are well worth a visit.
The old town was also used for scenes in Game of Thrones. During the first season, many scenes set in King’s Landing were shot in Mdina. For instance, the scene in episode 3 where Catelyn Stark enters the city was filmed at the Mdina city gate. Unfortunately there were issues with a subcontractor damaging protected land, so the production moved to Dubrovnik in Croatia instead.
Mdina was also a popular place for the crew during the shoot of 2004 movie Troy, we passed the place where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stayed.
But that don’t impress me much, in the voice of Shania Twain. Instead we took a walk south to the neighboring city of Rabat. The small St Cataldus Church (Knisja San Kataldu) has an impressive set of catacombs in the cellar, but the real deal is the St Paul’s Catacombs which are surprisingly large.
Apart from banging my head on the low ceiling all the time, I really enjoyed exploring the small passageways in the catacombs. The catacombs were used in Roman times to bury the dead, and later St Paul is said to have stayed there for three months after being shipwrecked on the island in 60 AD.