Mdina — Geocache of the Week

by divingbrothers
N 35° 53.077 E 014° 24.200

Regardless of who you are or where you come from, the desire to connect with former civilizations is a part of what makes us human. Understanding generations and cultures gone by can help define who we are and who we wish to be, both on a personal and societal level.

To get in touch with the past, our Geocache of the Week takes us to Malta, a Southern European island nation known for its expansive history, warm climate, and phenomenal geocaches. Be sure to bring your sunglasses, a pen, and plenty of excitement for our Geocache of the Week—the most Favorited Multi-Cache on Malta: Mdina (GC21534). 

Geocachers who visit Malta often begin their travels in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and capital, Valletta. After studying the 16th century buildings and Baroque palaces, prepare for a short drive to Mdina, the site of GC21534. Don’t forget your camera—there’s plenty to see!

Image by ari54321.

Once you arrive in the ancient city of Mdina, it may be difficult to know where to begin! Thankfully the cache owner, divingbrothers, created a Multi-Cache to introduce visitors to numerous historic points of interest within easy walking distance. To begin your geocaching adventure, start at the posted coordinates for GC21534, the Mdina Gate. Constructed in 1724, the limestone entrance provides geocachers with a stunning welcome to the fortified city.

Image by treasure_kings.

As you proceed from the main gate, the Multi-Cache introduces you to numerous historic sites around the city including a Carmelite Church, an architectural marvel with a ceiling that is truly a feast for the eyes. Each elaborate flourish and artistic detail combine to form an absolutely magnificent point of interest. While it’s easy to lose yourself inside the endlessly nuanced colors and stained glass windows, you’ll need to locate information about Sigismundo Dimech, a famous Maltese sculptor, to proceed with the Multi-Cache.

Image by Lady_Panda.

Geocachers who attempt GC21534 are also treated to interesting locations including the Palazzo Falson, a museum documenting the history of Mdina and Malta; its numerous artifacts provide an elaborate snapshot of life from centuries gone by. After leaving the museum, look for decorative emblems above the exterior windows—the total number of emblems serve as a clue to solve the final coordinates.

Don’t forget to visit Bastion Square, a major meeting point which provides a panoramic view from the highest point in Mdina. Although now a gorgeous vista point for visitors, the square formerly served a practical purpose—to keep an eye on any possible threats, from the countryside to the sea. To continue your tour, be sure to record three numbers from one of the vantage points; without them, it will be challenging to find the final cache.

Image by medic143.

Once you have visited each location on the tour, it’s time to collect your answers and solve for the final coordinates! After you’ve flexed your arithmetic skills, it’s time to head to the final. As you walk closer, don’t forget to enjoy your surroundings. Each small corridor and passage through the city feels like a miniature trip back in time.

Image by Jára Cimrman.

At last, it’s time to look for the Multi-Cache final! Hidden beneath an unsuspecting rock pile, the small container includes a logbook and SWAG from prior travelers to the city. As you ink your name in the log, you and your geocaching companions join the handful of other geocachers who completed this mission.

Image by velislav.

As you replace the geocache in the nook where you found it, the sun will slowly start to fade on your day in Mdina. Enjoy the sunset from the cache location! You’ve walked all over this ancient city, explored artistic wonders, studied local history, and taken in spectacular vistas. Although they call Mdina the “Silent City,” it might just be all you talk about for weeks to come.

Image by mikiski.

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Adam is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, you can find him laying out for a catch in ultimate frisbee, playing the saxophone, or dodging muggles while out caching.