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 29 August 2011

Ruby Tuesday: The Street Organ

Known in Maltese as ‘terramaxka’, street organs were a common sight on our streets in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the days when radios and TVs were unheard of, street organs provided an important source of entertainment during village feasts, carnival and day to day life. The street organ in the photos below dates from 1929. It has been restored by Dutchman Mari Van Rooy and is the only functioning street organ in Malta. These days the terramaxka is a frequently found at festivals, like the recently held Epoka at the Valletta Waterfront. Even in this age of instant technology, the street organ still delights old and  young alike.

Mnarja Eve 025 (1)Mnarja Eve 025 (2)Mnarja Eve 025 (48)

On some weekends, this wonderfully restored street organ may also be found in the streets of Valletta. You can go to the video link below to hear it play.

Malta’s Street Organ at City Gate, Valletta

You may find a brief history of street organs in Malta at The House of the Terramaxka.

Street Organ

photographed at the Valletta Waterfront

June 2011

I am linking this post to Ruby Tuesday hosted by Mary The  Teach at Work Of The Poet.


Video source: YouTube


  1. Just wonderful. I love these and this one is such a beauty!

  2. wow, this is my first time seeing this.

  3. We do not get to see street organs very often; they are lovely.
    I love the photo at the top of your blog.

  4. It is beautiful!!! Thank you for sharing the street organ.

  5. What a lovely blog you have!

    As a child I lived for some years in Malta & still have many lovely memories!

    XOXO Lola:)

  6. 'Even in this age of instant technology, the street organ still delights old and young alike.'

    Love it. And beautiful images, as well!

  7. Wonderful shots. I have not seen anything like this before.

  8. What a delightful treasure of Malta you have shown us! I have never seen one of these and think that it is wonderful that it is restored and preserved for generations to come.

    The wood pipes are fascinating!


  9. I have never even heard of a street organ. Who knew there was such a thing? It is so charming!! I think I would like to see it in person!

  10. Gorgeous pictures of the most beautiful street organ I have ever seen!

  11. That's a pretty one. It's a good thing they restored it and it's still in use!

  12. That's such a nice folklore and you did beautiful pictures !!

  13. Loree...you have stolen my Italian heart! Beautiful!! Gorgeous post and lovely vid!
    Thankyou for this spectacular treat!! amazing!

  14. Awesome photos! What a treasure! ~thanks, namaste, Carol (A Creative Harbor) from Ruby Tuesday

  15. Oh I love them! I look at them with kid´s eyes:-))
    Thank you and have a lucky weekend! Hugs from Luzia.

  16. Wow, how beautiful. I can't get over all the detail. Love that it's restored and in use! I have never seen anything like it. Thanks!

  17. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing. wishing you a lovely week! xoxo, B


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