Cittadella Master Plan Outline Application and Visitors’ Centre

cittadellaIn 2008 the Ministry for Gozo commissioned a Master Plan for the conservation and enhancement of Cittadella and its suburbs. This was completed in May 2010, following extensive consultation. Subsequently, the Ministry prepared an outline planning application for a number of key actions which were highlighted in the Master Plan.

The most significant change is that the huge archway in the curtain wall, formed in 1956, will be closed most of the time and visitors will be directed through the old city gate, narrow streets and the vaulted passage from Triq Bieb l‐Imdina, suddenly finding themselves in the square with its imposing baroque Cathedral façade. The steep ramp to the left of the Cathedral steps will be extended part way across the stairs to allow for a gentler slope and tore‐evoke the original passage across the square.

Situated just outside the gate, the nineteenth century reservoir is perfectly suited as a Visitor Centre. The roof‐slabs adjacent to the bastions and along the central entrance will be peeled back to provide lighting and to demonstrate the imposing height of the bastions and the series of arches supporting the roof. The old city gate will be clearly visible from the entrance point, as the ultimate destination. Visitors can look down and see all the facilities available, before being led along the stunning bastion wall. There, a visitor may choose todescend into the visitor centre or to ascend to the city gate by stairs, through the old sallyport in the ditch below the gate, or by lift.

Most of Cittadella is presently inaccessible to persons with limited mobility due to frequent flights of steps, many of them of recent origins. The replacement of most of these stairswith ramps and the introduction of a lift near the archaeology museum up to the Bastion of St. Michael will radically alter this situation. From here, one will be able to travel all the wayalong the south‐east curtain to St. John’s Demi‐Bastion, after replacing two small staircases with ramps. By converting another short staircase into a ramp, one could move along thesouth‐west curtain to St. Martin’s demi‐Bastion and up Triq Kwartier San Martin to the Northzone of ruins.

Directional signage, explanatory panels & seating will be placed at vantage points and along the routes leading to these points. The signs could be linked to information provided ondemand through mobile phone service providers. Proposed new lighting services include: anew flood‐lighting system for the bastions; accent lighting for a selection of prominent buildings; low level lighting to allow safe passage along streets at night; ambient light in the square and at key points around Cittadella. The inner edge of the covered way overlookingthe ditch, the inner edge of the enceinte passage on top of the north‐west walls, and St.John’s Cavalier will all be provided with sound railings which comply with safety standards. These areas are all expected to be much frequented due to the views which they afford.

Street paving in most parts of Cittadella is in poor condition. Before re‐paving, all service swill be placed underground in conduit, with regular access points for connection to users.Surface runoff water will be collected and piped to a reservoir. New foul drains will be installed, as well as provision for water mains, electricity & conduit for low voltage services.Once these new services are in place, the roads will be re‐paved, wherever possible replacing stairs with sloping paths. These works are covered by permit PA00419/11.

The façades of a number of public buildings require restoration. These include St. Joseph Church, the Museum of Folklore, the Natural History Museum, the Law Courts, the Public Registry, the Old Prisons, St. Martin’s Cavalier and the arch at the intersection of Triq Kwartier San Ġwann and Triq San Ġuzepp. The enceinte passage on top of the north‐west walls has deteriorated and some sections of supporting masonry also need to be restored. These works are covered by permit PA05543/10.

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