Tag Archives: Statue

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

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

Madonna Statue | Chapel of the Immaculate Conception | L-Aħrax, Mellieha, Malta | 27 August 2014

The Madonna Statue is located in front of the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the end of Marfa Ridge road. It was built in 1870 with an accompanying chapel which, legend has it, was built by a fisherman in thanks for surviving when his boat capsized. The original chapel was at one point in danger of collapsing so a new one was built in 1961. This is an idyllic spot for those searching for some untouched countryside, and is often used for picnics.

Information from:
Web: http://exploremellieha.com/placesofinterest

© Tony Blood - Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Madonna Statue. Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Chapel of Immaculate Conception. Mellieha, Malta, 27 August 2014

Tarxien Temples | Tarxien, Malta | 13 August 2014

The Tarxien Temples date from 3600-2500 BC and are the most complex of all temple sites in Malta, consisting of four megalithic structures.

The temples are renowned for the detail of their carvings, which include domestic animals carved in relief, altars, and screens decorated with spiral designs and other patterns. Of particular note is a chamber set into the thickness of the wall between the South and Central temples, which is famous for its relief of two bulls and a sow. The site seems to have been used extensively for rituals, which probably involved animal sacrifice.

Tarxien is also of great interest because it offers an insight into how the temples were constructed: stonerollers left outside the south temple were probably used for transporting the megaliths. Remains of cremation have also been found at the centre of the South temple at Tarxien, which indicates that the site was reused as a Bronze Age cremation cemetery.

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

© Tony Blood - Pot. Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Pot. Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Entrance. Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Entrance. Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Tarxien Temples. Tarxien, Malta, 13 August 2014

National Museum of Fine Arts | Valletta, Malta | 12 August 2014

The National Museum of Fine Arts is located at the lower end of South Street (Valletta) within an area including other fine historical palaces dating from the time of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The area is also well known for its wine bars and cafés and offers little-known breathtaking views of the city’s grid-shaped streets which visitors usually explore on their way to the museum.

Set in a complementing historic building, the museum presents a multifaceted overview of art and artistic expression in Malta from the Late Medieval period to the contemporary. The building was originally one of the earliest to be built in Valletta and served as residence to successive knights of the Order of St John. It was later rebuilt during the 1760s by Fra Ramon de Sousa y Silva, a wealthy Portuguese knight of the Order of St John, and adopted as his private residence. During the early nineteenth century the palace was home to Louis-Charles of Orleans, Comte de Beaujolais during his brief stay on the island followed shortly by his demise. By the 1820′s the palace became known as Admiralty House and was the seat of the Commander-in Chief of the British Mediterranean Fleet. It also hosted high-ranking personalities both as residents and guests. These include Lord Mountbatten of Burma, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, King George V and Queen Elizabeth of Britain.

The palace was officially inaugurated as the National Museum of Fine Arts in 1974 and has since then been Malta’s most important museum for the arts. Highlights from the collection on display include paintings by leading local and internationally acclaimed artists, precious Maltese silverware, statuary in marble bronze and wood, fine furniture items and splendid maiolica pieces. The collection also includes works by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) and Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), Valentin de Boulogne (1591-1632), Jusepe Ribera (1591-1652) and Guido Reni (1575-1642). The large piano nobile halls house works of art from the Early Renaissance to the High Baroque with a focus on the corpus of works by the Italian Baroque painter Mattia Preti. This is the biggest corpus of works by Mattia Preti on display in any public museum.

Information from:
Web: http://heritagemalta.org/museums-sites/national-museum-of-fine-arts/

© Tony Blood - National Museum of Fine Arts. Valletta Malta, 12 August 2014

© Tony Blood – National Museum of Fine Arts. Valletta Malta, 12 August 2014

© Tony Blood – National Museum of Fine Arts. Valletta Malta, 12 August 2014

© Tony Blood - National Museum of Fine Arts. Valletta Malta, 12 August 2014

© Tony Blood – National Museum of Fine Arts. Valletta Malta, 12 August 2014

© Tony Blood - National Museum of Fine Arts. Valletta Malta, 12 August 2014

© Tony Blood – National Museum of Fine Arts. Valletta Malta, 12 August 2014

© Tony Blood - National Museum of Fine Arts. Valletta Malta, 12 August 2014

© Tony Blood – National Museum of Fine Arts. Valletta Malta, 12 August 2014

Hastings Gardens | Valletta, Malta | 1 August 2014

Located on top of the bastions on the west side of City Gate, the recently-embellished Hastings Gardens offer a magnificent view of Floriana, surrounding cities and Marsamxett Harbour.

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

© Tony Blood - Memorial. Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Memorial. Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Canon. Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Canon. Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Canon. Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Canon. Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

© Tony Blood - Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

© Tony Blood – Hastings Graden. Valletta Malta, 1 August 2014

Pjazza Teatru Rjal (Opera House) | Valletta, Malta | 22 July 2014

Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the open theatre on the ruins of the former Opera House in Valletta, was officially inaugurated in August 2013. The theatre forms part of the City Gate project designed by renowned italian architect Renzo Piano, whcih also incorporates the entrance to the city and the new parliament building. The theatre project included excavation to create changing rooms, wardrobes and space for equipment underground behind the theatre between the Church of Our Lady of Victory and Piazza de Valette. The remaining ruins of the old theatre were cleaned and restored, including the former ticket offices at the front, which until recently used to house small shops.

Information from:
Web: http://www.visitmalta.com/en/info/pjazza-teatru-rjal

© Tony Blood - Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014

© Tony Blood - Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Valletta Malta, 22 July 2014

The National Library of Malta | Valletta, Malta | 19 July 2014

The idea of a public Library in Malta originated in 1555 with the issue of a decree by Fra’ Claude de la Sengle, Grand Master of the Order of St. John, whereby all books in the legacy of deceased knights were to pass to the Common Treasury of the Order. It was not until 1776, however, that the formal foundation of a Bibliotheca Publica was decreed at the Chapter General of the Order convened by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan. The main collections were those belonging to Fra’ Louis Guérin de Tencin, Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order who had died in 1766, and of Cardinal Joaquin Portocarrero, which de Tencin himself had purchased on the Cardinal’s death in 1760. The Library was for a time named Bibliotheca Tanseana in de Tencin’s honour. De Tencin is still today considered the founder of the Library. The books accruing to the Library, some very rare or with fine bindings, continued to be kept in cramped quarters in an edifice known as the Forfantone. De Rohan decreed the building of new premises to the designs of Stefano Ittar, a Polish-born architect residing in Italy. The building, situated in the heart of Malta’s capital city, Valletta, was completed in 1796 but two years later the Order of St. John was expelled from Malta by Napoleon and during the French 2-year period, the books remained at their former premises. It was only in 1812 – during the British administration – that the new premises were officially inaugurated by the British Civil Commissioner, Sir Hildebrand Oakes. From then on, the Malta Public Library, as it was then called, continued to flourish with a number of new acquisitions. In 1925, the Library acquired its “legal deposit” status by an Act of Parliament and 11 years later was granted the prefix “Royal” by King George V. The following year the Royal Malta Library took over the custody of the Archives of the Order of St. John which were transferred from the Public Registry premises. With the setting up of the new Public Library in Floriana in 1976, the Library in Valletta was officially designated as the “National Library of Malta” and became solely a research and reference Library.

In its capacity as National Library, the mission of the Bibliotheca, as it is more commonly known, is to acquire, catalogue and preserve manuscripts and all printed books, as well as periodicals and journals issued in Malta. Act no. II of 1925, and subsequently the Malta Libraries Act 2011, instituting the Legal Deposit imposed on all Maltese authors and editors publishing in Malta or abroad, the obligation to deposit two free copies of each of their publications, one at the National Library of Malta and the other at the Gozo Public Library. For this reason, the National Library has become the main source of Melitensia with the function of placing the written heritage of Malta at the disposal of researchers and general public.

Information from:
Web: http://education.gov.mt/en/education/malta-libraries/Pages/National%20Library/History.aspx

© Tony Blood - The National Library of Malta. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood – The National Library of Malta. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

Upper Barrakka Gardens | Valletta, Malta | 19 July 2014

The Upper Barrakka Gardens are situated near Castille Place and possess unsurpassed views across the Grand Harbour over to the Three Cities.

The origins of the Upper Barrakka Gardens go back to 1661, when it was a private garden of the Italian Knights, whose inns of residence (auberges) lie close by. It was not before 1824 that it was opened as a public garden and during WWII the garden suffered much destruction. The paths are lined with and the busts, statues and plaques that chart various personalities and other significant events in Maltese history.

Of special interest are the bronze group, known as ‘Les Gavroches’ (street urchins), by an early 20th century Maltese sculptor. Depicting three children hurrying forward, the idea behind this statue was the extreme hardship faced at the turn of the 20th century.

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

© Tony Blood - Les Gavroches (street urchins). Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Les Gavroches (street urchins). Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood - Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood - Winston Churchill. Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Winston Churchill. Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood - Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood - Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood - Staircase. Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014

© Tony Blood – Staircase. Upper Barrakka Gardens. Valletta Malta, 19 July 2014