Gozo punches above its weight in many aspects for such a small island, and this is also true when it comes to museums.
The Visit Gozo website features 13 different museums for tourists to consider visiting, a plentiful amount for avid history fans and casual culture vultures alike. Five of these can be found close to each other in the Citadel in Ir-Rabat (Victoria) for those particularly engaged in the museum mood.
Foremost is the Gozo Museum of Archaeology, which first opened its doors in its original incarnation in 1960 and was thereby the very first of all of Gozo’s public museums. On display inside are artefacts and relics from throughout the cultural history of Gozo, from the prehistoric era to early modern times. Its most famous exhibit is the Majmuna Stone, a 12th century Islamic tombstone made from marble of Roman origin.
Nearby is the Gozo Folklore Museum, situated inside the only surviving medieval house of its type in Gozo, dating from before the arrival of the Knights of St John. It focuses on the domestic and rural crafts, pastimes, and traditions of Gozo from throughout its history. Notable exhibits include a range of miniature handmade model churches featuring intricate furniture and religious accessories.
Another of the museums situated in the Citadel, in Gozo’s main town of Victoria is the Heart of Gozo or Il Hagar, a new fine art museum and cultural centre featuring a collection of artistic artefacts previously inaccessible to the general public, with space for additional temporary exhibitions too.
Outside of the Citadel at Xaghra is the beautifully preserved Ta’ Kola Windmill, one of the few surviving windmills on Gozo from the period of the Knights Hospitaller, originating from circa 1725. Visitors to this museum have access to reproductions of different aspects of a Gozitan miller’s life on each floor of the building, providing a unique insight into the existence of these figures from the past.
These are just a sample of what Gozo’s museums have to offer those interested in the history and culture of the island, and day trips can be easily booked via SunChateaux.