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This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Upper Barrakka Gardens

These garden were built in 1661 by Knight Gran Prior Flaminio Baldani specifically as  private gardens for the Italian Knights of the Order of St John. They are situated on top of a demi-bastion dedicated to St Peter and St Paul and command unobstructed views of Grand Harbour and of the area known as the Three Cities.  The gardens were opened to the public in 1824.

Barracca and Patches (13)

Barracca and Patches (15)

Barracca and Patches (31)

The gardens are adorned by a number of statues and monuments in stone and in bronze. There is a lovely arcaded section with a massive column at one end. This area used to be covered but the roof was removed in 1775 after a group of knights had met there to conspire against the Grand Master of the time.

Barracca and Patches (8)

Barracca and Patches (21)

Barracca and Patches (22)

A lower terrace served as a Saluting Battery until 1973. Nowadays the gun is fired daily at noon by re-enactors dressed in period costume.

Barracca and Patches (9)

The Upper Barrakka Gardens are a favourite haunt of both locals and tourists. In summer these gardens host a number of outdoor activities including the Delicata Wine Festival, Patches – The Special  Market and also private functions such as weddings.

Barracca and Patches (10)

Barracca and Patches (24)

When I was still a student I worked in Valletta for two summers and most mornings I would walk to the Upper Barrakka to see the sun rising over Grand Harbour. It was truly a wonderful sight especially on humid September mornings when wisps of mist still lay on the surface of the sea, dissipating slowly as the heat increased, to reveal solid bastion walls, ramparts and fortresses tinged with a rosy pink hue.

Barracca and Patches (25)Barracca and Patches (27)Barracca and Patches (36)

The Upper Barrakka Gardens are not large, by any means, but the spectacular view they offer more than makes up for this. I would have to conclude that those Italian Knights knew what they were doing when they chose this site as their private garden.

Photographed at

The Upper Barrakka Gardens

Valletta

July 2011

(during the Patches  Market)

12 comments:

  1. It seems the light on your island hits the architecture with a particular gentleness.

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  2. I must say, I think you live in paradise! I also wonder what those rebellious knights would think of those ladies in shorts! :)

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  3. This is a dream, right? The history, the old stones, the view, the flowers, the gently trickling water...

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  4. Beautiful place and very interesting story !

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  5. those lovely arcades are very similar to the ones i saw in Arequipa, Peru. the frame the views nicely.

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  6. yes, I need to agree with you, those guys really knew how to have a good life among the many battles they have to endure, I think.

    And your student mornings seemed to be very delightful, really...

    I'm with the impression that you changed your camera, the shots seems better than the last ones I saw...

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  7. Wow..beautiful Loree..such massively gorgoeus imagery each time..how do you just not go crazy-mad with all the beauty around you!I'd be stealing a tree sitting underneath..sipping wine and writing endless stories..just so beautiful! It must be wonderful to live as you do! shine on!!
    Victoria

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  8. What a fantastic place! You are such an amazing ambassador for Malta! I have been loving seeing it through your eyes and really hope I make it there some day! Great post Loree!

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  9. it would be a lovely place to have a wedding...

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  10. Loree,

    I especially love the pictures of the garden. It must be lovely to live in a place steeped in such rich history. I should come over here more often. Lovely!

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  11. Hi Loree
    I love that mediterranean sun glowing on the stonework.. so beautiful.. and what an incredible place to attend the markets.. I'd probably forgo a sleep-in for this!!!

    You mentioned you visited here as a student.. I don't know why but I didn't realise you had always lived in Malta,. for some reason I thought you had moved there at some point.. must have been me filling in the blanks.. wrongly. hahaha

    Have a great week. ciao xxx Julie

    PS.. I agree about the afternoon sightseeing.. I'm pretty much an afternoon person all the time..

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