Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Medieval Festival & Carmelite Priory, Mdina

Last weekend we went to a medieval festival.

Yes, you can roll your eyes.

Medieval festivals get a bit of a bad rap sometimes for being quite touristy or just downright strange. But you don't have to ask us twice to attend one that is set in an authentic medieval city, especially when that city is one of our favourites in the whole world.

During the Mdina Medieval Festival each April the Silent City springs to life for a weekend with actors in full armour and period dress reenacting historical battles and parades. There are also jousting competitions, medieval games, markets, and a display of birds of prey (think the infamous Maltese falcon). During the festival, museums and restaurants throw open their doors and admission to most attractions in the city is half price.

We had a lovely time wandering around Mdina and popping into sites we might not normally see - like the Carmelite Priory. With its grand 17th century Baroque church - the first elliptical church on the island - it is certainly worth a visit. Here you'll find paintings by Mattia Preti, Giuseppe Cali, and Pietro Paolo Troisi. And if you time your visit right - Saturdays at noon - you'll be treated to a classical music performances held in the beautiful space of the priory's refectory (dining room). While you'll be tempted to look up at the priory's incredible painted ceilings the whole time you're here, don't forget to look down and examine the traditional Maltese tile work. I have a (strange?) affection for these tiles, and to be frank, for the entire city of Mdina. Both are quiet, humble, and so beautifully Maltese.
- Jess

Visiting the Carmelite Priory in Mdina: The church and museum is open 10 am - 5pm and admission is €4-€3. Your visit should take less than an hour. Private tours are also available. Historical information is clearly displayed throughout the museum in English. You can also eat lunch here at the Old Priory Cafe (we have in previous years and it was fine). You can find an event calendar for the priory here.

carmelite priory, mdina, malta
the carmelite priory's recently restored elliptical dome, mdina

carmelite priory kitchens, mdina malta
carmelite priory kitchens, mdina

carmelite priory kitchens, mdina
carmelite priory kitchens, mdina

carmelite priory kitchens, mdina butcher cleaver
carmelite priory kitchens, mdina

carmelite priory's painted ceiling, mdina malta
the painted ceiling of the refectory (dining room) in the carmelite priory, mdina

carmelite priory's painted ceiling, mdina malta
the painted ceiling of the refectory in the carmelite priory, mdina
carmelite priory mdina malta
carmelite priory's refectory (dining room), mdina - used as a performance space for theatre and classical music

carmelite priory's painted ceiling, mdina malta
carmelite priory's refectory (dining room), mdina

maltese tiled floors
traditional maltese tiled floors

carmelite priory, mdina
the carmelite priory's church in mdina is accessed through the back of the altar -
a bit unconventional, and quite intimate.

carmelite priory, mdina church dome malta
circular dome of the carmelite priory, mdina

carmelite priory, mdina
carmelite priory, mdina

carmelite priory elliptical dome mdina malta
the carmelite priory's elliptical dome in mdina - the first in malta

mdina medieval festival 2012, malta
mdina medieval festival 2012, malta

mdina medieval festival 2012, malta



mdina glass maltese beer malta
a maltese beer on a mdina glass table.
yes, we felt a little touristy at this point.

mdina medieval festival 2012, malta
mdina medieval festival 2012, malta

archery at the mdina medieval festival 2012, malta
archery at the mdina medieval festival 2012, malta

the ancient walled city of mdina. one of our very favourite places on the island.

2 comments :

  1. My goodness - the painted ceiling and domes. I'm sure I'd miss the rest of the church because I'd be so busy looking up!

    ReplyDelete

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