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Frontpage News 2012 Reviving the Cittadella

MT0005 Cittadella.jpg

Reviving the Cittadella

  • On the small Mediterranean island of Gozo, the EEA Grants are supporting the development of a large scale plan to renovate the island's main historical site.

    Situated on Malta's sister island Gozo, the Cittadella is a small fortified town, which until the 17th century provided a safe dwelling space for the island's inhabitants. Today, the Cittadella is one of Gozo's main tourist attractions, visited by around 500,000 people every year. But despite its popularity, centuries of neglect and decay have taken its toll on the site. Several attempts have been made to restore the fortification, but without a holistic approach, it has been difficult to carry out sustainable renovation works.

    "When we heard about the EEA Grants, we saw the opportunity to finally create a multidisciplinary master plan, which would take into consideration all aspects of the site," said project coordinator John Cremona. With over €250,000 in grant support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, the plan is now under development. "This project is not just about conservation, it is also about sustainable management," added project architect Ivana Farrugia. "What we are now able to do is to create a long term policy framework, to cover issues ranging from geology, ecology, tourism, land use, and traffic management to economical sustainability," she continued.

    With funding for the master plan safely in place, the site has now been granted further EU funds to begin the initial renovation works. "What we want for the Citadella is to make it a living site," said Cremona. "Tourists come there by default these days, but we want to transform it to an interactive experience, to allow people to feel the real spirit of this historical place," he concluded.

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Masterplan for the Cittadella, the old fortified city of the island of Gozo

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Conservation of European cultural heritage


    € 256,275



    Type & project assistance:

    Individual project

    Project promoter:

    Ministry for Gozo

    Type of institution:

    National Authority

    Project website:

    Project duration:

    30 months

    Project cost:

    € 323,770

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    EEA Grants

    Grant agreement date:

    27 July 2007

    The purpose of the Project is to implement prioritised conservation interventions following the establishment of a masterplan which will support an improved management structure with the overall objective of sustainably exploit the tourism potential of the Citadella in Gozo, following proper conservation interventions and effective integrated management of the planned operations. Reference is made to the application dated 4 November 2005 as well as additional information provided by the Focal Point dated 20 June 2006, 17 November 2006, 10 January 2007, 12 January 2007 and 25 January 2007.

    The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:

    - Formulating and adopting a masterplan for the Cittadella through a service tender;

    - Data collection and evaluation;

    - Installation of the collected data into a Geographic Information System (GIS);

    - Public consultation.

    The Project Promoter is the Ministry for Gozo.

    The Project Promoter shall provide at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible Project cost.