With an eclectic history and exciting culture, Gozo has an array of museums for all the family to enjoy during your vacation.
The Museum of Archaeology, the Citadel
The Museum of Archaeology is located within the walls of the Citadel just behind the old gate. It is housed in a seventeenth century building, Palazzo Bondi, which originally served as a town hall where the Knights of St John used to receive their distinguished visitors. At one time, it was the residence of a prominent Gozitan family after whom the Palace is named.
The Folklore Museum, Victoria
The Museum houses a wide range of exhibits depicting the domestic, rural and traditional ways of life in the agrarian economy of the Maltese and Gozitans in centuries past. The Museum is located in the apt setting of medieval houses in Milite Bernardo Street in the Citadel. The houses were probably built towards the end of the 15th or the beginning of the 16th century. The architectural features are in Sicilian style, and may owe something to the influence of the Chiaramonte family of Sicily and southern Italy when they were Counts of Malta in the late 14th century. It seems probable that this style survived locally after it had become obsolete in Sicily.
The Natural Science Museum, the Citadel
Situated behind the Law Courts in the Citadel of Victoria, Gozo, the Natural Science Museum is hosted in an old house the origins of which may date back to the Aragonese period. During the 17th and 18th centuries it was used as an inn. A visitor to the islands in the 19th century is on record as having remarked that the hotel was clean, that the food was good, and that the prices were reasonable. During the Second World War, the building gave shelter to several Maltese families who sought refuge from enemy action in Malta.
The Old Prisons, the Citadel
The Old Prison is situated in the Citadel, overlooking Cathedral Square and adjacent to the Law Courts, to which it was originally connected. In its present form, the prison complex is divided into two sections: the entrance hall, which served as a common cell in the 19th century; and a free-standing block with six individual cells. The prison was in use from the mid-16th century until the beginning of the 20th century.Today, the entrance hall houses a permanent exhibition on fortifications to be found on the Island of Gozo. The individual cells, next to a central courtyard and surrounded by a narrow corridor, are still well-preserved in their original state.
Ta Kola Windmill, Xaghra
The Ta’ Kola windmill is a step back in time to the trade of the miller and a fine example of the rural economy and domestic life of Gozo in centuries past.The windmill was built in 1725 during the magistracy of Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena (1722-36). It was equipped with a large water cistern, a workshop, and living quarters for the miller and his family. Its building was financed by the Manoel Foundation, set up to fund windmills in order to sustain the demands of the increasing population of Malta and Gozo. The windmill was so active during the 18th century that it had to be restored several times. Eventually, it was rebuilt in 1787 on the order of Baron Francesco Gauci on behalf of the Manoel Foundation. The mill appears to have been a valuable, thriving business since the annual rent for the building increased as it passed from owner to owner.
Museum of Toys, Xaghra
This small privately owned museum in Xagħra was originally set up by Susan Lowe in Devon, England in the 1970’s. It started with one doll and today it boasts toys from all around the world. The name Pomzkizillious comes from Edward Lear who made up this word to describe the coastal scenery of Gozo while visiting the Island in 1866. (Edward Lear is a world famous illustrator of natural history books, writer & illustrator of children’s verse and a landscape painter who visited Malta on many occasions)
Maritime Museum, Nadur
The privately owned Kelinu Galea Maritime Museum has a myriad of exhibits, among which one can find rare and priceless articles such as authenticated pieces of timber from Lord Nelson’s ship “HMS Victory”, the “Constitution”, which was the first US warship, as well as one of Lord Mountbatten’s gold epualettes which he wore during the period of duty in the Meditarrenean.
Gharb Folklore Museum, Gharb
The Għarb Folklore Museum is a privately owned unique early 18th century historical house with 28 rooms. A tour of these rooms gives the visitor a glimpse of times gone by with exhibits such as the miller’s room, an antique press room, a carpenter’s workshop and a myriad of other memories from Gozo’s past.