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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - Mdina Main Gate

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 Mdina's Main Gate

Malta's old capital may be accessed through its main gate by Howard Garden. This gate is a magnificent piece of architecture commissioned by Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena, designed by his Architect, Mondion. It was completed in 1724.

The bridge that leads to the gate proper is flanked by two coats-of-arms bearing heraldic shields embossed with the Vilhena lion, raised on stone columns. On the Mdina side of the bridge, two stone Vilhena lions one clutching the Grandmaster's escutcheon and the other holding the shield of the Mdina municipality respectively guard the entrance.

The Vilhena coat-of-arms is also the main feature of the baroque lunette above the arch of the main gate. Below this is a marble slab bearing an inscription in Latin which recalls the construction of the gate.

Statues of St. Paul flanked by St. Publius and St. Agatha occupy the lunette above the arch on the inner side of the gate