Tag Archives: Landscape

Worfield, Chesterton | 25 May 2020

© Tony Blood – Worfield, Chesterton. 25 May 2020

Salt Pans | Bugibba, Malta | 2 October 2014

BUGIBBA SALT PANS Situated on the foreshore of the Bugibba area next to the pier, these salt pans have been known to be here for a very long time. Probably like other sites in the region, a fine layer of sand covered and preserved them in the state they are in, to the 21st Century. The site is a pride of bygone engineering skills, basing it’s unique function on the simple law of gravity. The water flow is directed to different pans, through rock-hewn gutters, and controlled by the use of sluice gates and stone shutters. In other parts, circular channels bring the water level to service other canals that otherwise would be excluded from the system. The workmanship is excellent, particularly when one compares the site to other salt pans around the island. Two large salt-water reservoirs linked the rest by a central canal system furnished the smaller pans with water. Previously there may have been as many as six such reservoirs, some of which have been buried under new development. From the reservoirs, the central channel runs to two different sluice gate systems that service a number of pans, six of them being a uniform square type. A complex circular system of water control connected three of the pans. This system making use of stone shutters and canals, would have served to bring up the water level to the desired level so as to service the other pans further along the system.

Information from: Rural Development for Malta 2007-2013 The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development Government of Malta Europe Investing in Rural Areas

Bugibba Salt Pans, Malta, 2 October 2014

Bugibba Salt Pans, Malta, 2 October 2014

Bugibba Salt Pans, Malta, 2 October 2014

Bugibba Salt Pans, Malta, 2 October 2014

Bugibba Salt Pans, Malta, 2 October 2014

Bugibba Salt Pans, Malta, 2 October 2014

Bugibba Salt Pans, Malta, 2 October 2014

Bugibba Salt Pans, Malta, 2 October 2014

St. Mary’s Tower | Comino | 1 October 2014

The Santa Marija Tower on Comino formed part of the early system of towers which the Order set up to facilitate defence and communication between the Ċittadella in Gozo and Mdina. It later became a key location of the system of towers built along the coast. The decision to build this Tower was taken by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt in 1618, and was financed by the Grand Master himself, by the sale of the brushwood on the island and from the profits made by the resettled farmers. The site chosen was some eighty metres above sea level.

The design of the Tower was square in plan with four corner turrets. The bulk of the Tower is twelve metres high and stands on a plinth some eight metres high. A three metre wide strip was laid along the top surface of the plinth to enable the defenders to move easily to any endangered point. The walls of the Tower are about six metres thick and the four corner turrets are extended perpendicularly and crowned with a battlement top.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/info/santamariatowercomino

© Tony Blood - St. Mary's Tower, Comino, 1 October 2014

© Tony Blood – St. Mary’s Tower, Comino, 1 October 2014

St. Mark’s Tower | Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Malta | 1 October 2014

The De Redin Towers are a series of small fortified watch towers that Grandmaster Martin de Redin of the Order of Saint John built on the Maltese islands between the years 1658 and 1659. There are 13 on Malta and 1 on Gozo. The towers are in sight of each other, and provided a communication link between Gozo and Grand Harbour, in addition to functioning as watchtowers against attack by Corsairs. They were also designed to withstand an attack if the need arose.

The design is based on the design of the last of the five original Lascaris towers, the Sciuta Tower at Wied iż-Żurrieq, that Grand Master Giovanni Paolo Lascaris, de Redin’s predecessor, had built in 1640. The locals refer to both the five Lascaris towers and the thirteen de Redin towers as “de Redin towers”.

Nine of the fourteen towers still exist today and most are in good condition and accessible to the public. Two towers were destroyed but the remains still survive, while another three were completely demolished and no remains survive.

De Redin towers are featured on the coats of arms of the Armed Forces of Malta, the Malta Stock Exchange and the local council of Pembroke.

Information from:
Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Redin_towers

This is one of Grand Master de Redin’s watch towers and is situated a few hundred metres from the Għallis Tower. Also known as St Mark’s Tower, this is probably the third of the thirteen towers built by Grand Master de Redin. The stone work cost 408 scudi and was paid for by the Grand Master. Its construction and history is similar to that for Ghallis Tower and it was built between March 1658 and July of the following year together with the other twelve towers. During the British period a small room was built in front of the Tower to serve as a guard room but only its foundations remain. On the first floor there is an inlet to an underground well.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/info/qaletmarkutower

© Tony Blood - St. Mark's Tower. Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Malta, 1 October 2014

© Tony Blood – St. Mark’s Tower. Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Malta, 1 October 2014

Ġgantija Temples | Xagħra, Gozo | 1 October 2014

Ġgantija

The awe-inspiring megalithic complex of Ġgantija was erected in three stages over a period of several hundred years (c.3600-3000 BC) by the community of farmers and herders inhabiting the small and isolated island of Gozo (Malta) at the centre of the Mediterranean.

Ġgantija consists of two temple units built side by side, enclosed within a single massive boundary wall, and sharing the same facade. Both temples have a single and central doorway, opening onto a common and spacious forecourt that is in turn raised on a high terrace. Rituals of life and fertility seem to have been practiced within these precincts, while the sophisticated architectural achievements reveal that something really exceptional was taking place in the Maltese Islands more than five thousand years ago.

This complex stayed in use for about one thousand years, down to the mid third millennium BC, when the Maltese Temple Culture disappeared abruptly and mysteriously. Eventually, the successive inhabitants of the Early Bronze Age (2500-1500 BC) adopted the site as a cremation cemetery.

Information from:
Heritage Malta

© Tony Blood - Ġgantija Temples, Xagħra, Gozo, 1 October 2014

© Tony Blood – Ġgantija Temples, Xagħra, Gozo, 1 October 2014

© Tony Blood - Ġgantija Temples, Xagħra, Gozo, 1 October 2014

© Tony Blood – Ġgantija Temples, Xagħra, Gozo, 1 October 2014

Graffiti | Ġgantija Temples | Xagħra, Gozo | 1 October 2014

On both sides of the doorway, two well-finished megaliths are covered in graffiti, some of which date back to the early 1800s. For many years, visitors incised their names or initials on the stone, gravely damaging the surface of many megaliths in the temples.

Information from:
Heritage Malta

© Tony Blood - Graffiti. Ġgantija Temples, Xagħra, Gozo, 1 October 2014

© Tony Blood – Graffiti. Ġgantija Temples, Xagħra, Gozo, 1 October 2014

Xagħra Circle | Ġgantija Temples | Xagħra, Gozo | 1 October 2014

RITUALS OF THE DEAD
Rituals at the Xaghra Circle was probably different from that at Ġgantija, because it involved the dead. The excavations of the site proved that burial rituals and rites changed. Some skeletons were found intact, but later in the Temple Period, skulls or long-bones were separated and buried in special pits. This suggests that the living may have returned to their dead relatives and performed secondary-burial rituals after some time had passed since their death. This, together with evidence of cremation during the Bronze Age at other sites, bears witness to the variety of death rituals performed throughout Maltese prehistory.

Information from:
Heritage Malta

© Tony Blood - Xagħra Circle. Ġgantija Temples, Xagħra, Gozo, 1 October 2014

© Tony Blood – Xagħra Circle. Ġgantija Temples, Xagħra, Gozo, 1 October 2014

Fort Campbell | Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta | 30 September 2014

Fort Campbell was built in 1937 and was armed with two guns to defend the coastal waters of Mellieha and St. Paul’s Bay against invasion. Another anti aircraft gun was added later. One can still see the gun emplacements, the soldier’s quarters, the underground magazine and the Fire Control Command. Several pillboxes and machine gun openings were constructed all around the fort. The fort was garrisoned by 200 RMA soldiers. It’s generator fed the Search Lights facing St. Paul’s islands. This fort was abandoned around 1970.

Information from:
Rural Development Programme for Malta 2007-2013
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
Europe Investing in Rural Areas

© Tony Blood - Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Fire Station, Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fire Station, Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Fire Station, Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Fire Station, Fort Campbell. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

Selmun Palace | Mellieħa, Malta | 30 September 2014

This palace was built by the Knights in 1783 on a plan by architect Dominic Cachia. Although bearing fine military architecture, it only served as a summer residence and a meeting place for hunting. It resembles Verdala Palace. Inside, one finds to large holes on top of each other and for side rooms. Between 1792 and 1979 it housed a Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Ransom and was often used by prominent people. The Monte della Redenzione coat of arms over the main entrance shows three loaves and the letter R. Holes visible on the Palace’s facade resulted from an aerial attack during World War II.

Information from:
Rural Development Program for Malta 2007-2013.
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Europe Investing in Rural Areas.

© Tony Blood - Selmun Palace, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Selmun Palace, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

St. Paul’s Island | Malta | 30 September 2014

Christianity has almost 2000 years of history in Malta. According to tradition, it was brought to the Islands by none other than the Apostle Paul himself in around A.D. 60. Paul was being taken to Rome to be tried as a political rebel, but the ship carrying him and some 274 others was caught in a violent storm only to be wrecked two weeks later on the Maltese coast. All aboard swam safely to land. The site of the wreck is traditionally known as St. Paul’s Island, and is marked by a statue commemorating the event. The welcome given to the survivors is described in the Acts of the Apostles (XXVIII) by St. Luke:

“And later we learned that the island was called Malta.
And the people who lived there showed us great kindness,
and they made a fire and called us all to warm ourselves… ” 

As the fire was lit, Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake but he suffered no ill effects. The islanders took this as a sign that he was a special man. This scene is depicted in many religious works of art on the Islands. According to tradition, the Apostle took refuge in a cave, now known as St. Paul’s Grotto in Rabat, Malta. During his winter stay, he was invited to the house of Publius, the Romans’ chief man on the Islands. It was here, according to tradition, that Paul cured Publius’ father of a serious fever. Publius is then said to have converted to Christianity and was made the first Bishop of Malta. The Cathedral of Mdina is said to stand on the site of Publius’ house. Archaeological evidence seems to support this tradition, as Malta was one of the first Roman colonies to convert.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/st-paul-in-malta

© Tony Blood - St. Paul's Island, Selmun, Malta.  30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – St. Paul’s Island, Selmun, Malta. 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - St. Paul's Island, Selmun, Malta.  30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – St. Paul’s Island, Selmun, Malta. 30 September 2014

Salt Pans | Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta | 30 September 2014

Salt is a very good preservative of foodstuffs and here small salt-pans were constructed by private families towards that end. In 1930 the Calafáto company took over this area at Blata and changed it into larger salt-pans, using the salt in it’s animal hides’ tanning factory at Marsa. These bath-shaped salt-pans lead sea water from one to the other by gravity. They were still in use up to the eighties of the last century when a big storm caused irreparable damage to them.

Information from:
Rural Development Programme for Malta 2007-2013
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
Europe Investing in Rural Areas

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood - Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Salt Pans. Selmun, Mellieħa, Malta, 30 September 2014

Lippija Tower | Mġarr, Malta | 29 September 2014

Lippija Tower, completed in 1637, was the first Lascaris tower to be built. It was built overlooking Ġnejna Bay, and Lascaris himself personally completely financed its construction. It is two storeys high with a flat roof and a parapet. By the early 2000s it was abandoned in a state of disrepair and it was in danger of collapsing. In 2003 the Ministry of Resources and Infrastructure restored it and it is now in good condition.

Information from:
Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaris_towers#cite_note-1
Web: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20030721/local/lippija-tower-restoration-taken-in-hand.145180

© Tony Blood - Lippija Tower. Mġarr, Malta, 29 September 2014

© Tony Blood – Lippija Tower. Mġarr, Malta, 29 September 2014

St. Mark’s Tower | Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Malta | 26 September 2014

This is one of Grand Master de Redin’s watch towers and is situated a few hundred metres from the Għallis Tower. Also known as St Mark’s Tower, this is probably the third of the thirteen towers built by Grand Master de Redin. The stone work cost 408 scudi and was paid for by the Grand Master. Its construction and history is similar to that for Ghallis Tower and it was built between March 1658 and July of the following year together with the other twelve towers. During the British period a small room was built in front of the Tower to serve as a guard room but only its foundations remain. On the first floor there is an inlet to an underground well.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/info/qaletmarkutower

© Tony Blood - St. Mark’s Tower. Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Malta. 26 September 2014

© Tony Blood – St. Mark’s Tower. Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq, Malta. 26 September 2014

St. Paul’s Island | Malta | 26 September 2014

St Paul’s Island, also known as Selmunett, is a small island off Selmun near the north-east of the main island of Malta. St Paul’s Island is sometimes split into two islands by a shallow isthmus, and it is therefore sometimes referred to in the plural as St Paul’s Islands. St Paul’s Island has been uninhabited since World War II, and it is the largest uninhabited island of Malta.

The Acts of the Apostles tell the story of how Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked on an island which some scholars have identified as Malta while on his way to Rome to face charges. Traditionally, St. Paul’s Bay and St Paul’s Island are identified as the location for this shipwreck.

In 1576, Marco di Maria was being chased by Barbary corsairs off the coast of Malta. He navigated his vessel through the narrow channel between St Paul’s Island and Malta, but when the pirates followed him they ran aground and were captured. As a result of this, the Grandmaster Jean de la Cassière gave St Paul’s Islands to di Maria. Since he was a member of the Salamone family, the islands were often called Selmunett.

In 1844 a prominent statue of Saint Paul was erected on the island. It was sculpted by Segismondo Dimech from Valletta and Salvatore Dimech from Lija. The statue was officially inaugurated and blessed on 21 September 1845. It was restored by Din l-Art Ħelwa in 1996 and again in 2007. It will be restored once more in 2014.

Until the 1930s, a farmer called Vincenzo Borg, nicknamed Ta’ Bajdafin, lived on the island. His farmhouse was located close to the statue of Saint Paul. He abandoned the dwelling and the fields on the island just before World War II started. The farmhouse was a three-chambered structure with a heavily buttressed wall at its lower level. It resembled the Lascaris or De Redin towers, although it was never used for military purposes. Since it was abandoned, the upper room has collapsed and the structure is now in ruins. Pope John Paul II visited the island by boat during his visit to Malta in 1990.

Saint Paul’s Islands lie about 80 metres off the coast of Mellieħa, Malta. The island can split into two islands by a shallow isthmus according to the sea level, and when they are split the larger island on the west is known as Saint Paul’s Island while the smaller one on the east is known as Quartz Island. Both islands are made of upper coralline limestone. Saint Paul’s Island’s landscape is a maritime garigue dominated by Golden samphire, Maltese fleabane and other species. Quartz Island is more exposed and has less vegetation than the main island. A population of the land snail Trochoidea spratti can be found on the islands. Wild rabbits used to live on the island but the population died off due to disease. A subspecies of the Maltese wall lizard known as Podarcis filfolensis kieselbachi also lived there but the population apparently became extinct in 2005.

Information from:
Web: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Paul’s_Island

© Tony Blood - St. Paul's Island, Selmun, Malta.  26 September 2014

© Tony Blood – St. Paul’s Island, Selmun, Malta. 26 September 2014

© Tony Blood - St. Paul's Island, Selmun, Malta.  26 September 2014

© Tony Blood – St. Paul’s Island, Selmun, Malta. 26 September 2014