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Author: Melisande Aquilina

Remembering the Azure Window and discovering the Wied il-Mielaħ Arch

Tourists perusing brochures and magazines with the idea of visiting Gozo, Malta’s sister island, still encounter beautiful photos of the picturesque Azure Window, which used to dominate the ambience at Dwejra. The 28-meter tall natural rock arch had been in fact, one of Gozo’s main punch lines and most popular tourist attractions, representing the island’s enduring raw natural beauty for years. This icon however, found its end last year, in March 2017, when it collapsed following a major storm after a century of suffering from slow erosion by the elements. The arch, which consisted of a rock pillar rising...

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The Death of Paceville

Hailed as a ‘den of iniquity’ by some and a Mecca by others, the Paceville of my younger years was an exciting vibrant area. Redolent with young people and the ever-present lurking promoters trying to slip you a ‘free drink’ ticket, it stood out against the mediocre backdrop of my daily routine, promising entertainment, stimulus, the chance to let go and enjoy friendships and flirtations. I remember my first time in Paceville, right after I turned 16. Me and my girlfriends hit Axis (the old Axis not the current shopping mall) and ended up having to go to the...

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The Astronomical Alignment of Maltese Neolithic Temples

Malta’s temples are a magnificent testimony to the Neolithic temple culture which flourished on our islands between 3600 and 2500BC. They can be said to correspond with contemporary and similar monuments found in England, Ireland and Northern France, and their architectonic alignment to sunrises and sunsets reflects religious archetypes which have been perpetuated since prehistoric times. Despite the destruction, decay and reconstructions Maltese temples have had to withstand over the millenia, their original alignment can still be ascertained since the foundation walls and the axes of the buildings are still well preserved. The ancient people of Malta were always...

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Malta and Sicily – What do they have in Common?

Living on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea definitely has its advantages, and being in an optimal location to travel easily and visit many of the most beautiful countries in Europe, is not the least of these. Throughout the years, Malta’s location has always been of prime interest to different countries and individuals in power. Phoenicians and Carthaginian sailors and merchants used Malta’s specific location in order to further their trade and explore new lands. The Greeks and Romans were more than happy to manage such an archipelago for this reason, as well as to enhance...

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The Inquisitor’s Palace in Birgu

The Inquisitor’s Palace is located in Citta’ Vittoriosa or Birgu, one of Malta’s medieval fortified cities, to be found on the South side of the Grand Harbour in the South Eastern region of Malta. Birgu is a very old locality and has a long history associated with maritime, mercantile, and military activities. In fact, it served as a base for the Order of the Knights of Saint John, prior to the building of the capital city of Valletta, that is, from 1530 to 1571. The Inquisitor’s Palace itself is to be found in the heart of Vittoriosa. Also known...

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