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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.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Fountain of the Washerwomen

On a steep hill leading to Mdina is an old, derelict building. Weeds and small bushes grow out of the cracks and crevices that time and the elements have carved in the stone. The red sign warns people to keep away because of the possibility of collapse; the crumbling stones give an indication of its age. At least four centuries have passed since this building was erected.

Medieval Mdina 008

This is one of a number of wash-houses built by the Knights of St John in areas where natural springs were abundant even  in the hot summer months. It was to these  places that the village women would bring their dirty laundry. Some were servants at the big houses in Mdina, washing the clothes of the nobility for a few pennies. Others would just bring the washing of their whole family.

Medieval Mdina 010

I can only imagine all the tales and gossip that these walls have must have heard as the clothes of the nobleman and the peasant were cleansed in the same spring water. I can almost hear the gay chatter and laughs of the women as they went about their arduous chore. Centuries later the only sound that can be heard is the gentle trickle of the water as it falls into the rough-hewn basins.

 Medieval Mdina 011

Note

Although this building is in imminent danger of collapse, some of these old fountains in other areas have been restored. The foundations of this particular wash-house, however, are built on clay which is why it is in such a bad shape. Hopefully a way of keeping this building intact will be found so that future generations will be able to appreciate our heritage.

13 comments:

  1. Wow...so cool..gorgeous photos as always! and love your enchanting words..! the second photo really strikes me..love it!
    Awesome post!
    Kiki~

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  2. Looks like a beautiful place ! And nice to see it doesn't seem to be covered in graffiti. In France a building like that standing open would have all sorts of "tags" inside and out in very little time. Do people have a little more respect for public places in Malta perhaps ?

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  3. a magical place and wonderful colors! Bye!!

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  4. Loree, as you know I always want to know the story behind the photos and you did not disappoint here. Like Owen I am glad to see that there are no tags and also that your country is looking for the means to restore its heritage. Merci!

    Oh, and I love the new banner!

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  5. Old, weather worn stones are fantastic. There are still lots of washing fountains here, it must have been so hard! Lovely shots and I really like your header.

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  6. Those photos are great Loree. Hope they can be saved, it would be a great pity to lose them.

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  7. If only walls could tell ^_^ And yes hope they can be saved. Happy Tuesday!
    Ruby Tuesday

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  8. You have a beautiful blog. I love very much your photos.
    Greetings from Barcelona!

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  9. I am very glad that I found your very nice blog with these pictures from Malta. I visited Malta this year in may and this was very beautiful time. We visited your gardens, cathedrals, ancient building, Gozo, beaches and see; we loved your palaces and towns, your very nice people. This was interesting time and I loved Malta very much.

    I have written about Malta in my blogs too, there are three blogs. In "Suleke" there are pictures and texts about Malta´s angels and cathedrals, in "Kruusatee" some stories and pictures about Malta (people, buildings, see etc) and in "Teed" some photos (there will be more if I have time) and one story for one estonian newspaper. Just write in search in my blogs "Malta" and you will find them. These stories are written in estonian, but you will understand with Google Translate. You are welcome, if it is interesting to you.

    My best regards to you and your beautiful Malta from Estonia; and I shall now follow your blog with big interest.

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  10. Really beautiful walls. I love brick walls. And you're right if those walls could speak they would have had great stories to tell. That's my thought to whenever I photograph something old. Have a great day :)

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  11. Aaaah yes, if the walls could retell the stories ... What a beautiful place, I hope they can save it. I enjoyed this post, Loree.

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  12. Nice post and fascinating to hear what the building was used for! I will try to visit one of the restored wash houses, glad they are not letting them all fall to ruin.

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  13. I like the atmosphere of these historical places! Hugs from Luzia.

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