Sunday, November 30, 2008

St. Paul's Cathedral , Valletta

The Anglican Pro-Cathedral of St Paul is situated
in Independence Square Built in the neo-classical
style, the spire is a Valletta landmark, rising
to over 200 feet (60 metres).

Built on the spot where the Auberge d’Allemagne
(the conventual home of the German Knights
Hospitaller) had stood. Queen Adelaide
paid for the church and laid the foundation stone
on 20th March 1839.Queen Adelaide's Banner hangs
majestically above the choir stalls.

The Dedication of the Church to St Paul, the
Apostle to the Gentiles, was a reminder of the
first Christian missionary to Malta, when he was
shipwrecked on the Island in AD 59/60

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sliema Seafront No. 3

I have previously posted photos of Sliema Seafront. This is another part of the front and the photo was taken from Malta's capital city, Valletta.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The past , the present .... rain and sun

I love this photo. I love the way the old balconies are in the shadow by the side where it had just rained and I love the way the sun is shining on the church on the other side of the bay where new buildings can be seen. The photo was taken from Valletta and opposite you can see part of Sliema.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

National Museum of Archaeology

The National Museum of Archaeology displays an exceptional array of artefacts from Malta’s unique prehistoric periods starting with the first arrival of man in the Ghar Dalam phase (5200 BC) and running up to the Tarxien phase (2500 BC).

The collection is housed in the Auberge de Provence, one of the first and most important buildings to be erected in Malta’s baroque capital city, Valletta, after the Great Siege in the late 16th century.

The construction of the Auberge was probably entrusted to the local architect Gerolamo Cassar (1520-86). Among the more captivating features of the Auberge is the large top floor salon with its richly painted walls and wooden beamed ceiling. Over the centuries, the Auberge has undergone other architectural changes, but it remains one of the best preserved residences of the Knights.

The building served as the main residence for the Proven├žal knights of the Order of St John. Following the departure of the Order from Malta, the property was administered by the French during their brief occupation of the Islands. It was later on taken over by the British Government and served as military barracks, a hotel, a Union Club, an auction house and, eventually, as a museum.

The building was inaugurated as the National Museum in 1958 when it housed the archaeological as well as the Fine Arts collection, which is now in another palace nearby.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pregnant windows...

On one of our walks we came across this abandoned farmhouse. I do not know if this is the proper word for this type of windows, however if I am not mistaken they are called like this because of the shape as they look like pregnant bellies. It is actually funny because they are called pregnant windows and they are housing birds' nests at the moment !!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Queen Elizabeth 2 -

Today for the last time the QE2 is berthed in the Grand Harbour before it sails to a new life as a floating hotel in Dubai. The liner was sold last year for some 65 million euros to the Dubai World Company. The QE2 was launched in September of 1967 and has traveled around 6 million miles, making more than 800 trans-Atlantic crossings carrying 2.5 million passengers.

Today my friend and I went to take some photos of this wonderful ship and also had the chance to speak to 2 members of it's crew. I am also very happy with the first photo I took as I managed to get the whole ship in one photo and I was standing pretty close to the ship.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Manoel Theatre ' Teatru Manoel' - 'A let down!'

What a let down !! what a let down!! About a couple of weeks ago I have blogged some photos and information about the Manoel Theatre Yesterday was the much awaited day for my family to go and experience for the first time the theatre. We were there on time because on the back of the ticket there was written that late coming is simply not acceptable and one would have had to wait until the first available intermission to go in. So we were there half an hour early, kids very excited because they were going to watch this musical and they were going to sit in the balconies upstairs etc..etc..... To cut a long story short before we were due to go in the waitress told us that the show was cancelled!! yes my dear friends it was cancelled....... no prior notice nothing just cancelled because there was not enough audience for the 6pm show!! would you believe it?!! For your information there were 4 families in all waiting to go in. For me this is not a valid reason to cancel a show. How many of you bloggers out there have experienced this ???

Here is the advert that was shown on the online newspaper on the 28th of October, 2008.

Mudest is the name of a walking, talking, singing chess pawn, starring in the first production in Maltese for children to be staged at the Manoel Theatre next month.

Two years ago, the Manoel embarked on a new project to introduce a children's programme in their yearly schedule and have since put on four productions. Skakkumatt, the fifth, is the title of this year's show.

Skakkumatt tells the story of a young chess pawn manoeuvering his way along a chess board in a heroic battle for honour, glory and love. The story has been translated from French and will be narrated in Maltese by Theresa Gauci.

Manoel Theatre chairman Peter Fenech said the musical is an opportunity for children to learn through theatre and music. It is specifically aimed at families and children in primary and secondary schools, in the hope that theatre will be integrated in their scholastic calendar.

The original music is composed by Alexandre Gasparov who will also be conducting the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.

The shows will take place on November 15 at 6 p.m. and November 16 at 4 and 6 p.m. For more information visit or e-mail

More disappointment on this event has been posted today by my friend Laetitia at (link here in my side bar as Malta Magic)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

WaySide Chapel - Gudja

Since today is a Sunday my post is about this pretty chapel situated on the outskirts of Gudja village. Having it's back side facing the 'Hal far' road which runs adjacent to the Malta International airport runway. It's surrounded by agricultural land with fruit trees leaning onto the narrow winding path that leads to and from the village.

In one of the photos you can see the runway and an Airmalta plane about to the take off.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Finally after a very long, hot, humid and sticky summer we are enjoying rain and a cooler weather. By cooler I do not mean cold OK, we do not come even close to our bloggy friends who live in the northern part of Europe for example. It's just gone down to 19/20. At least we can now start wearing some long sleeve t-shirts. Hurray for cooler weather!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pumpkin Fair

On Sunday 2nd November,(KRM)Ltd/Manikata farmers with the help of the Institute of Tourism organised a 'Pumpkin Fair' to celebrate a product that grows in abundance along the Ghajn Tuffieha - Xemxija Valley. The product is harvested in late August and is then placed on rooftops or along the walls of water reservoirs to ripen in the mild Autumn Sun.
Amongst a display of pumpkins there were stalls selling pumpkin pies, cakes and cupcakes, typical local food including Manikata wine, sun dried tomatoes, honey, carob syrup and organic olive oil.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Manoel Theatre ' Teatru Manoel' - No. 2

Oreste Chircop (1923-1998)
Oreste Kirkop was born in Hamrun, Malta on the 26th day of July 1923.
He made his operatic debut in Cavalleria Rusticana at the Radio City Opera House. For the next five years, he appeared in some 60 leading tenor roles. Between 1954 and 1958 he was the principal tenor at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London. In 1953, he was chosen by the BBC to represent Malta for the "Coronation Commonwealth Gala".
In 1956 he performed the title role in Hollywood's Musical film THE VAGABOND KING.
His performances were given in various big theatres and huge auditoriums where thousands of people could hear him sing for them, live on stage. He was also the principal tenor in the first Rigoletto on T.V. in America in February 1958.
After his successful career, always in leading tenor roles, he retired in Malta in 1960 where he passed away on the 10th day of May 1998.

I will try and get some photos of the theatre soon :) .

Sunday, November 02, 2008

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, Ant├│nio 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.