Gozitans are victorious as the French garrison surrenders

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Gozitans are victorious as the French garrison surrendersToday, the Gozitans were victorious, as the city of Victoria witnessed the reenactment of the uprising against the French, which had been led by Gozitan Archpriest Saverio Cassar back in 1798.

Fierce running battles took place during the reenactment around the Citadel and along the old streets and squares in the centre of Victoria, in what was a fantastic spectacle of gunfire, smoke and bravery by the soldiers.Gozitans are victorious as the French garrison surrendersThe large crowds of spectators were entertained from start to finish, they were in the centre of the action as the battles enfolded around them, and were able to see history as it happened.

This uprising was one of the most famous chapters in Gozo’s history . . . the date was the 28th of October 1798 and it meant the French stay in Gozo only lasted 141 days.Gozitans are victorious as the French garrison surrendersArchpriest Cassar negotiated the surrender of the French from the island with British Admiral Horatio Nelson, who had sailed into Mgarr, Gozo.

During this weekend in Gozo, 550 reenactors from 60 reenactment societies, hailing from 17 countries have been taking part with the Historical Reenactment Group of Malta, including Norway, Australia, Spain and Russia, who represent Maltese, French and British military forces, as well as civilians.

These episodes of Malta and Gozo’s history, have been held to mark this year’s 220th anniversary of the arrival of the French to the Maltese Islands.

Photographs from today are by Alain Salvary

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