Many tourists consider Victoria Gate the most beautiful of Valletta gates for its lofty appearance, classical symmetry and rich decorative elements specific to the Victorian style. In addition, this gate is the oldest in the town, since it was lucky to survive both WWII bombings and infrastructure changes associated with the city development.
However, the gate is the result of the infrastructure changes in itself. In fact, it was designed to replace an original entrance leading to the old city from the seaward. The old gate was erected at the end of the 16th century and 300 years later its capacity could no longer meet the needs of a rapidly developing harbor of the Maltese capital. Thus, the British authorities of Malta decided to demolish the old gate and to build a new main entrance from the harbor, making it larger and more comfortable both for pedestrians and carriages.
In 1884, the construction started and a year later the gate was put into service. It was designed by Emanuele Luigi Galizia, who was a leading Maltese architect and engineer of the late 19th century. The authorities named the gate after the British Queen considering the forthcoming 50th anniversary of her reign.
In 2010 the gate underwent full restoration that included cleaning and partially replacement of the old masonry, as well as installation of street lighting and beautiful night illumination, which nowadays favorably emphasizes architectural elements of the construction. Tourists enjoy exciting photo shoots against this vibrant sample of the Victorian neo-gothic style. They can observe the mysterious archways, decorated with glorious Maltese coat of arms, and gorgeous symbols of the British Empire that top the gate and dominate the design. Built of Maltese limestone, Victoria Gate blends perfectly into the surrounding architectural complex of Valletta fortifications, adding to the feel of power, reverberating fame and age-old traditions.