High above Victoria, the old restored city of Rabat, the Citadella and the impressive Cathedral towers. In the “lower town” behind It-Tokk square, you will find St. George’s Basilica on the picturesque and atmospheric St. George square. The “dragon tour” of our good friend Berend and me starts on this square. The meter-high entrance doors to the basilica are copper-green and decorated with beautiful scenes. One of the images shows us St. George (George) on his horse, fighting the dragon.
Inside this rich baroque style church space, we find a beautiful mosaic with the image of the archangel Michael, who beats Ahriman. (the devil who wants to seduce us into the earthly, materialistic will) The so-known image of St. George, which is carried around during the exuberant and grand St. George procession, still a young man, stands taller than lifelike, illuminated behind glass . But also a statue of St. George who beats a human-like, winged devil creature. St. George is clearly the representative of the Archangel Michael.
In the beautifully colorfully painted rear dome, an image of Michael who rules the peoples of the earth. In Il-Hagar, the small museum next to the church, there is a permanent exhibition in which you can also see details of this painting.
Berend and I continue our dragon tour through the neighborhood behind the Basilica. Several houses carry the name of St. George or a derivative thereof. In the narrow and winding alleys and streets we see special reliefs, tile tablaus and even two life-sized colorful painted images of St. George fighting the dragon.
Armed with a photo camera, we search the neighborhood for images and references to our dragon slayer. Berend and I come to at least 60 images and nameplates. The main street through this neighborhood (2 meters wide) is called “Triq San Georg”. On this street there are again small alleys that lead to one or two front doors, vistas, planters and sleeping cats in the window frame.
At the end of a dead end alley we find an old bakery “Kampnari”. The week before I was here for a delicious pizza! I like to show Berend this place. The baker bakes a real ftira, a high-calorie pizza filled with goat cheese and eggs. The bakery has a high chimney for the authentic wood oven. Above the bakery’s workshop, an old discolored image of St. George. He and his wife show us his traditional products, and when asked what his name is ………………. he looks at us questioningly ……. …. just like my father: George goes without saying.
After roaming around this beautiful authentic neighborhood for a few hours, Berend and I return to St. George square. Many people have settled on the terraces. Our favorite terrace even has no place! In the afternoon sun we enjoy a light lunch and a glass of cool white Gozo wine.
I would like to recommend this trip to Fran D’or guests. I want to share this journey with you and I am happy to go on a journey of discovery.