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 6 June 2011

Ruby Tuesday: Red Balconies in Birgu

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.

Birgu (15)

Photographed in

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.


  1. Welcome back Loree. We are glad we have you back with us again.
    Thank you for sharing the beauty of Malta with us.
    Have a great evening.

  2. I love the bold red on the typical Maltese honey color! And this perspective really gives the impression of the height of this building!


  3. oh, what gorgeous reds :)

  4. Gorgeous architecture with so much style. Must be a fabulous place to explore!

  5. Great architecture in ruby colors,unique perspective, and photographed beautifully!

    Thanks for your visit. Have a wonderful week.

  6. Wonderful post, information, photo, architeture and balconies!

  7. Wonderfully composed photo...love the angle, and oh so colorful.

    WINGS!! [a short, slideshow video of hummingbirds feeding and playing]

    Have a great Tuesday. Hope you can find time to stop by and shout out a 'howdy do'.

  8. Welcome back, Loree! This is a beautiful post. I absolutely love the architecture!
    Wishing you a most lovely week. xoxo, B

  9. Loree, you have so much history to share about your wonderful island country... I love these red balconies and will enjoy seeing your "rouge" each Tuesday!


  10. I love this one. Love the hues of red here. Great shot!


  11. What a beautiful building !

  12. I love the way the balconies are painted in contrasting colors, what a great look.

    We were in Malta (mainly on Gozo actually) a few years back and enjoyed it immensely. Never made it to Birgu though, next time :).

    My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

  13. Lovely picture!

    ZyVu xx


  14. Haaaa, I love this colourful traditional architecture detaills! I wish you a wonderful summertime and a lot of fun. Hugs from Luzia.

  15. So many beautiful, historical places you share with us. I really do like the red balconies and it makes me almost wish I didn't live in such a modern home...sometimes. ;-)

  16. Hi Loree
    Sorry for my absence.. I'm just a slacker.. and have the flu!! boo hoo..

    I love these red balconies and shutters.. so vivid.. could do with something like that on this rainy Sydney day.. OH.. and once again I saw a documentary on Malta.. but have forgotten the subject matter.. [I blame flu head!!] .. it was something to do with WWII... Such a rich history you have... and such a pivotal role for such a small island..

    OK.. have a lovely weekend.. ciao ciao xxx Julie

    PS.. I totally concur about living near the ocean.. I'd be lost without it.. or as you say 'sea sick' hehehe

  17. Ohhhh preciosa fotografia ..colores muy vivos un saludos desde Canarias

  18. I absolutely love the photograph in this post. It fills me.

  19. LOVE it. Of course, I love red so that has an influence. All that detail too!
    Fabulous. Hope you are having a great weekend!


The Azure Window: the end of an icon

The Azure Window was a natural limestone arch that rose majestically out of the blue Mediterranean sea to a height of 28 metres (92 fee...