Friday, October 31, 2008

Skywatch Friday

I love taking photos of the clouds and the sky and somehow there's always a good shot in the air !! For more skywatch Friday visit

Manoel Theatre ' Teatru Manoel'


The beginning…
Following centuries of unrest and a myriad of conquerors, the rule of the Military Order of St. John brought about a period of unprecedented stability and development to the Maltese Islands. The newly constructed fortified capital, Valletta, administrative centre and home to the variety of nationalities forming the Order, witnessed a further development as the islands’ cultural and entertainment hub.
Throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries, the demand for operas, pageants, theatrical and dramatic productions boomed as the Maltese embraced what had previously been entertainment reserved solely for the Nobility. Shows put on by amateurs and theatre professionals were then housed at the Knight’s Auberges around the city or in the open.

In 1731, António Manoel de Vilhena, Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, commissioned and personally funded the construction of this central building to serve as a Public Theatre.It was constructed in just ten months and cost 2,184 scudi. The Portuguese Grand Master built the theatre to keep the young knights of the Order of St. John out of mischief but also to provide the general public with "honest entertainment." This motto was inscribed above the main entrance to the theatre, which still reads today: "ad honestam populi oblectationem". The first performance on the 19th January 1732 , was a classic Italian tragedy, Scipione Maffei’s Merope. The players in that production were the Knights themselves, and the set was designed by the Knights` chief architect, Francois Mondion.

The management of the theatre and the censorship of the performances was in the hands of a knight who was called “Il Protettore”.

In those days, opera performed by professionals was performed at least as often as drama. Works by the great master of "opera seria" Johann Adolf Hasse were often performed during the theatre’s early decades, but just as popular throughout the century was the rival "opera buffa" by leading composers like Nicolo` Piccinni, Baldassare Galuppi and Domenico Cimarosa.

The continuous theatrical exchange between Naples, Palermo and Valletta made Teatru Manoel a natural stepping stone for aspiring artists `to step up the ladder leading to La Scala or Covent Garden`.

The first impresario of whom we have record was Melchiorre Prevvost Lanarelli in 1736, and the last Giovanni Le Brun in 1866. From 1768 to 1770 the impresario was a woman, a certain Natala Farrugia. Grand Master de Vilhena fixed the rent to be paid by the Impresario at 320 scudi per annum, of which 80 scudi were paid for rent from Easter to August, 120 scudi for Autumn, and 120 scudi from Christmas to Carnival. From the records we learn that when dances or veglioni (masked balls) were held in the theatre, the pit was raised by scaffolding to the level of the stage, and we find that on August 22, 1778, regulations were passed for the lighting of the theatre and corridors. On these occasions the shading of lights, in any manner, was prohibited, so as to keep the entertainment in the theatre, as honest as possible !


In the year 2004, the team of Sante Guido Restauro e Conservazione di Opere d Arte, unearthed paintings that, could serve to increase the knowledge and the understanding as to how the theatre developed over the centuries. The findings have emerged from beneath the flaking green paint on the top tier. Although the gallery was added in 1811, the restorers did not rule out that the paintings in its balconies could match the lower levels and could, therefore be the original designs dating back to the year 1731, the year this magnificent theatre was inaugurated. Since the inauguration of the theatre, the balconies would appear to have undergone four interventions: the discovered paintings on the canvas layer, the green paint over them, the paneling and the gilding. After the first phase of the restoration of the paneling, the second phase followed with proper cleaning, removal of layers of dust and grime and the repair of breakages in the wooden, gilded decorations which were split in many areas. The question remains: why were the original paintings covered, and what changes in culture brought this about ? The answer could simply lie in the different cultural tastes of time, or could be something more fascinating

For more interesting History about this magnificent building visit this website
Will post more photos in the future of the inside of this wonderful building.

Monday, October 27, 2008

'One View .... two shots'

Here are two shots, one taken from inside the library building and the other from the parking lot outside. I particularly like the one taken from outside where there is the red sailing boat . I think it's so noticeable.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Malta public library ......

A little history .......

The concept of establishing a public library service dates far back to the year 1806.
During the year 1838 the Library was merged with the University and much of its public function identity was lost. But after two years, in 1840 its attachment with the University was ended.

In 1935 the Pubblica Bibliotheca changed its name to the Malta Royal Library. During World War II little progress was noted and the Library Committee rarely met. The library building was slightly damaged during one of the air raids but no books were lost.

After a decade of years since the end of World War II, the library was re-organised and improved in that a new library for children was opened. This had a direct effect on book loans that started to increase. Even book-stock assumed a parallel augmentation.

When Malta became independent in the year 1964 a public library development plan for Malta spread over 4-5 years was adopted. In it was contemplated the establishment of a Public Library Service together with a School Library Service. A new suitable building had to be found for the new Central Public Library. At first the choice fell on a large building in Castille Square, but the idea was abandoned when the building had to serve as shelter for families rendered homeless after heavy rainfalls.

After many proposed choices the new building to house the Central Public Library had to be the ex-CID block at Floriana. In 1974 the Central Public Library started to function from this place, issuing books by means of the Browne system that consisted of three to four pocket cards issued to every member for the purpose of borrowing books.

In 1983 the library officially moved to its present place that consisted of an administrative block and another block that housed the Adult, Junior and Reference libraries. In 1995 another block was built on the left wing to accommodate the IT Support Unit, the Melitensia, Acquisition and Cataloguing sections, the Section for People with Special Needs and the Audio-Visual library. In 1995 the computerisation project was initiated and the lending procedures at the Central Public Library are now fully computerised. A Customer Care Unit was introduced and a recording studio to record material for persons with a visual disability was set up.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

from the country to the city ..........

Yesterday I've started my day with a journey into our capital city Valletta. I always think that this corner is brought up to live with this multicoloured kiosk.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Country walk

from the Farmhouse to a country walk through the Maltese country side

Monday, October 20, 2008

Farm houses...

A Typical renovated Farmhouse found here on the Maltese islands.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

An award.....

Thanks dearest Isabel for this award. The Kreativ Award, by Isabel from

Now as always with these awards I have to list 6 things, this time that make me happy and 6 bloggers who are worthy of this award.

1. My dear kids.

2. As a family we like to make this 'family hug' and the feeling whilst we are doing it is indescribable.

3. Sometimes (this happens very often) kids jump on me and they start kissing me both at the same time. I feel like I am floating with joy.

4. My sweet husband.

5. Sitting early in the morning drinking tea and reading blogs or a good book.

6. Last but not least I am happy that there's God who loves us and is ready to forgive us (thanks Isabel for pointing this one out!) .

Now here comes the part in which I have to nominate.

Since some already got this, I will just pass it on to the ones that don't have it :

Susan from
Gwyn from and
Mike from

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Birgu / Vittoriosa Fest

The world's largest cooking pot was lowered by a crane at Victory Square, Vittoriosa, ahead of Malta's biggest cookery event yesterday evening as part of BirguFest.

The pot, large enough to hold risotto for 5,000 people, has a diameter of 3.30 metres and weighs 520 kilos.

For more information with regards to the birgufest visit this website

Photo from our local online newspaper.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tag!! I'm it......

I've been tagged. I had to post this earlier however it's hard to think of 6 weird things about myself. So here it goes.

1. After two weeks of sun, I can honestly seriously say I've had enough. Seriously for those who know me know how much I do not like the sun!! Weird right?!

2. When I talk to people (not friends, cause most of my friends are weird too :), sorry Laetitia and Isabel) and say that I want more children they think I am crazy as for them one or mostly two are enough!!

3. Oh like Laetitia, I do like the rain and love it when I take the kids for a muddy puddle jump.

4. I do not like to go visit the dead at the cemetery (sorry mum) but when I go I can't leave, now how weird is that?!

5. I'd rather have a messy house and see that my family are happily playing together (including me and hubby). Now I think that this is weird because for Maltese people to have a messy house is close to a sin!!

6. mmmm for the last one........I'm pretty sure people think I am weird in many ways but right now I think that's my list ........

Since all my friends have been tagged with this and I have no idea who to tag I am going to stop here.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Figure of birth

This is the fountain which is found at the entrance of the gardens that represents the figure of birth.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chinese Garden of Serenity

The Chinese Garden of Serenity (Ġnien is-Serenità) is a public Chinese garden in Santa Luċija, Malta (southern part of the island).

The garden was constructed in the early 1990s. The most striking elements in the Chinese Garden are rocks and water, which feature prominently. They symbolise all that forms part of the basis of nature, the yin and yang. The fountain near the entrance of the garden represents the figure of birth.

There are other elements within the Chinese Garden that symbolise the active life. The winding corridor at the northern end of the garden represents the windings and challenges of life, the bamboo garden represents contemplation and the great hall which represents community.

A number of prominent Chinese leaders have planted flowers at the Chinese Garden of Serenity

more photos will follow.........

Monday, October 13, 2008

Apartments ........ Sliema

These apartments have been recently build and are found in Sliema.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


On a recent trip to Valletta my friends and I stumbled into this exhibition. Two of the artists exhibiting here are Mr Charles Bonnici who is a painter and a sculptor and Ms Sue Mifsud who is into ceramics and the majority of her work is made from stoneware and fired in an oxidized atmosphere with her own palette of glazes. Raku and pit firing is also a common feature of her work.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Let's go for a ride ......

These horses with carriages are what in Maltese we call 'il-karrozzin'. It's a different way to tour round the cities of Malta. This particular photo was taken in Valletta,however they are also found in Mdina, the silent city.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Strait Street, Valletta

This Street was known as 'the gut' by former service people as this was the red light, bar area.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

House of Representatives

This is a photo showing part of the building which houses the members of parliament. Here is the official website of the parliament

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

German Maltese Circle..

Next door to the Austrian Consulate you will find the German Maltese Circle. Here one can come and learn German, also activities in German are frequently organized like films in German Language with subtitles in English etc... Something else which I have to mention is the cafeteria they have. When I used to work in Valletta (round the corner from here) my friends and I used to come here for lunch and they always had some very delicious meals.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Austrian Consulate in Malta

For all you Austrians out there, this is the consulate office in Malta. It is found in St.Christopher street , Valletta.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

St. Dominic's Church, Valletta

This Church is found in Merchant Street, Valletta. Inside this church on can see religious scenes painted on the ceiling by the famous Maltese artist Giuseppe Cali. Almost every church in Malta boasts a work of his. Restoration on these paintings have started in July of this year because they have suffered extensive damage and are peeling off in patches.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


A couple of weeks ago my husband and I had to go to Valletta for a couple of errands. This photo was taking whilst stuck in traffic in Floriana. At the far left side there is the US Embassy building. Will be posting some more photos of our visit that day.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Summer is coming to an end....

Here on the lovely sunny island of Malta summers are long, way to long really!! Last night we had rain which was much needed. This morning the air is feeling fresh and I can finally breath :) good day to you all.