History

Gozo’s colourful history dates back to 5000BC when it was first inhabited by a group from Sicily who managed to cross over to the island. Archaeological finds, such as pottery, suggest that these people hailed from the area of Agrigento, and it’s thought that they  lived in caves in the area now known as San Lawrence in the north-west of Gozo. Pottery shards in this area were found to be of a purer quality than other another pottery found on the Maltese Islands, suggesting that Gozo may have been inhabited earlier than its sister island Malta.

Through its history it is safe to presume that Gozo’s story is closely entwined with Malta’s, sharing many of the same influencers and rulers. One of the most important stages was when Christianity was brought to the islands in 60AD by St Paul. Later, in the 9th Century, the Arabs took control heavily influencing the local language as well as changing the islands’ names to the present day ones of Malta and Gozo.

Over the centuries Malta and Gozo were ruled by the Normans, the Knights of St John, Napoleon and the British, each of whom heavily influenced the islands and contributed to their rich history. The Maltese Islands’ strategic positioning was utilised throughout the Crimean and First World Wars, and especially during the Second World War during which time they were heavily bombarded by Axis air-raids. After the war, having been awarded the George Cross Medal for bravery by King George IV, the Maltese and Gozitans yearned for Independence and this was finally granted on 21st September 1964. The islands became a Republic in 1974 and in 2004 Malta and Gozo joined the European Union along with nine other nations.