After a long absence I am back participating in Ruby Tuesday. I hope that by now I have accumulated enough images with red in them to be able to link up to this fun meme on a weekly basis.
For this week’s entry I have chosen a photo of some red balconies in the medieval maritime city* of Birgu (aka Vittoriosa). Balconies, of course, are the quintessential adornments of most of the older houses in the Mediterranean and can be covered or uncovered and made of wood or stone. Covered wooden balconies, like the ones in the photo, are perfect for a spot of eavesdropping, if you are so inclined, and also provide an ideal perch above the street from where you can watch the daily neighborhood drama being enacted. I think that the current fad of painting local balconies in bold reds, greens and blues contrasts well with the honey-coloured limestone that makes up Maltese houses.
Main Gate Street
Like any medieval town or village in Malta, Birgu is made up of narrow winding streets flanked on each side by buildings which are 2 to 3 storeys high. Being a harbor town, Birgu has a long history of maritime, mercantile and military activities. Following the heavy bombardment it sustained during WW2, Birgu experienced a sharp decline in its population (which was almost halved when compared to pre-war years). For a large number of years, many of the remaining buildings went in decline and the population continued to dwindle. In the past decade the government, together with a number of private entrepreneurs, started to invest in the area and many of the older buildings are being renovated and restored. A Yacht Marina was built and the buildings and palaces on the waterfront at St Lawrence Wharf have been leased to house restaurants and cafeterias.
I have already written about Birgu another time and you may read the post here. New readers may also read more about the chequered history of this town at the official portal of the Birgu Local Council.
Major attractions in Birgu include Fort St Angelo, the Maritime Museum (housed in the former Royal Navy Bakery), the church of St Lawrence, the Inquisitor’s Palace, the Couvre Port and the extensive fortifications (to name just a few).
*Please note that the word city here in Malta is used very loosely and does not refer to modern metropolises such as London or New York. In fact, some of our ‘cities’ (like Mdina) are inhabited by not more than 500 people.
For more posts with pops of red, visit Mary at Work of the Poet.