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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.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Introducing … Bormla

Bormla 007

On a rainy day, last February, we went for a walk in Bormla (also known as Cospicua) – one of the Three Cities. This town in Grand Harbour, hemmed in between Birgu and Isla, its more well-known neighbours, has had a colourful and often-tragic history.

Bormla 009

Although it has been inhabited since pre-historic times, it also bore the brunt of Malta’s two major sieges. In 1565 it was decimated by the Turks. It was subsequently fortified by the Knights of the Order of St John and started to thrive when the Order used its creek as a berthing place to anchor and repair their ships. During the British years, the Royal Navy built their dockyard in the same spot. This created hundreds of jobs in the area and ushered in Bormla’s golden years.

Bormla 013

Due to its proximity to the dockyard, Bormla was heavily bombarded by Axis airplanes during WW2 and many historic buildings were severely damaged or totally destroyed. The majority of the population took refuge in the countryside. After the war, the town rose again from the debris and the ashes but, in many cases, planning was erratic and many of the new buildings did not fit in well with the pre-war architecture that managed to survived.

These days Bormla looks a bit faded, a bit tired, as if it is still dreaming of its glory days. It needs a facelift, one that is not just cosmetic. It needs life to be injected back into it. Perhaps it needs to recapture the pride of its golden years and wipe out all the bad memories.

Bormla 016

This harbour town is not what I would call pretty – at least not right now. It has some scars. And they run deep. There are definitely some social problems in the area and most of the population tends to focus on these negative points. I admit that this is not a place where I venture often. Indeed this is probably my first walk around this town since I was a young child. But I think that that is about to change.

Bormla 010

It is high time that I explore this place a bit better, get to know it a bit more. Hopefully more of its buildings will be restored and renovated so that it will regain its former lustre. For the sake of our heritage I trust that this will happen sooner rather than later – before it is too late.Bormla 006Bormla 012Bormla 014

Photographed in the streets of Bormla

February 2012

10 comments:

  1. That third photograph really inspires my imagination. All of these incredible street images do, really.

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  2. Beautiful old buildings! It would be great if the community could get together to help revitalize the city.

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  3. you mentioned the're now inhabited. what are those buildings now?

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  4. There are gorgeous details to be saved...

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  5. Such gorgeous buildings, I hope a way can be found to revitalise the place!

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  6. Such colorful, beautiful doorways and balconies. Such a shame the buildings have been allowed to deteriorate. Hopefully a renovation will be able to occur.

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  7. it´s still beautiful. love the pastel colors. can´t wait to visit one day. :)
    hope you are having a great summer loree!
    big hugs!

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  8. Somedays, when I'm feeling frustrated with the mentality and idiosyncrasies on this island, I just go through your blog.

    It's an infusion of National pride.(And the pictures are just gorgeous).

    Once again, thanks for sharing :)

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  9. Fascinating information on Bormla, and your photos showed just what you're describing. I like the way this town look, a bit in the past, a bit tiresome, but still very beautiful with history written on the surfaces..

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  10. Still so lovely in it's faded glory but I hope it does get that injection you're talking about!

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