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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.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Belvedere at Lija

Lija (5) 

This Belvedere is situated in Lija, one of three villages, the others being Balzan and Attard, situated in the central part of the island. Constructed in 1857 by the Maltese architect Giuseppe Bonavia, it originally formed part of the gardens of a large villa owned by the Depiro family but it was separated from the property when the street in which it now stands was constructed. The word ‘belvedere’ comes from the Italian language and is usually given to structures or towers that command a fine view of their surroundings. When the Belvedere in Lija was built, it commanded unobstructed views of the surrounding countryside and villages. These days the area has been heavily urbanised and even a climb to the top of this structure will only give you a view of houses, houses and more houses with, perhaps, a glimpse of a few fields in the distance.

Due to its rather whimsical architectural style, people from the locality sometimes refer to it as the ‘wedding cake’. Indeed, its three separate levels do resemble the tiers on a traditional wedding cake. I love this shot in sepia, as it makes it seem as if the photo was taken back when the tower was built – well, as long as you ignore the traffic sign in the centre.

Lija (6)

The Belvedere

Transfiguration Avenue

Lija

14 comments:

  1. HI Loree...so beautiful..it totally looks like a wedding cake..awesome!! Lovely inspiring post!

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  2. What an absolutely gorgeous belvedere. I like the wedding cake idea but it actually reminds me more of a lighthouse.

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  3. Beautiful structure, looks lovely in sepia. I was thinking wedding cake before I read your description.

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  4. Loree, it is indeed a wedding cake building! I do love it in sepia and the bright blue traffic sign is not as prominent.

    This belvedere is quite stunning and thanks for telling us about it and its surroundings.

    Bises,
    Genie

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  5. Beautiful images Loree.
    Have a great day.
    Costas

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  6. Beatiful photo and lovely history!

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  7. it does look like a wedding cake! its pinkish tint makes it even so.

    :)

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  8. It's so funny 'cause today I was talking with a friend about the Tower of Belen at Lisbon, in Portugal, a kind of belvedere as well. The funny part is that I don't knew how to explain the girl how the tower is, 'cause the word "tower" gives the idea of something high but the place is definitly small. Now, with the word 'belvedere', I know exactly how to explain :)

    Anyway, your belvedere really seems a wedding cake but also remembers a light house as someone up there said but definitly it's a belvedere!!!

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  9. I was thinking that if someone did actually come up with a wedding cake that looks like this... exactly like this... that will be kinda cool... :)

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  10. It looks like summer at its best! Tonight I would like to send you some refreshing, than we will have -25° in middle Germany:oooooo And now I go to bed with a really "unsexie grandma-socks" on my feets. I wish you a wondeful weekend and send some hugs from frosty Luzia.

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  11. What a strange building it really looks like a wedding cake ! very interesting architecture !

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  12. what an imposing structure with such a fascinating history and it does look like a wedding cake. great shots and i like the sepia tones.

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  13. It is a very beautiful building! I didn't think of it until you mentioned wedding cake, but there is a similar building in Phoenix, Arizona - although it is newer, the Tovrea Castle. It, too, is often referred to as a wedding cake. =)

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