The last post from Mellieha area will be about the city itself. Even if Mellieha is famous about its sandy and sunny beaches and bays, a walk in the city still can be interesting and definitely worth for it. This time I went there fully prepared and already knew what I want to see and what buildings to take pictures about. So let me share some information and experience about the place.
Mellieha is an idyllic seaside town situated in the north part of the island and it is the most popular summer destination for tourists.
It is really interesting it wasn’t like this always. Would you believe that the area visited by thousands of people today for two centuries was abandoned due to the fear from attacks of corsairs and Saracens? Mellieha was a village developed under British colonization. Under the British, in 1844, Mellieha was established again as a parish and since then it grew up into a modern town, of circa 6,500 people.
The town has lot of potential even when it comes to history. At the edge of the village is the Sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Mellieħa. The building on the top is the Parish Priest’s Residence. For centuries this has been a shrine for pilgrims seeking solace.
In the late 19th century the Sanctuary was found to be too small for the Mellieha community. The Parish Church of Mellieha is dedicated to the Birth of Our Lady, and was built between 1881 and 1898.
The Little Grotto lies on the opposite side of the road to the Mellieha church. It is a natural cave down in the hill with a statue of Our Lady. The walls are decorated by letters and pictures showing the faith of those who believe.
During World War II, Malta became one of the most bombed places on earth, with over 17,000 tons of bombs. The Maltese were forced underground into a network of bomb shelters that could house half of the island’s population. The largest 46 shelters were dug in Mellieha. These shelters today give visitors a taste of life during wartime in Malta.