Thursday, 22 May 2014

Count Roger of Normandy and the Legend of Migra Ferha

Migra l-Ferha (5)

According to a local legend, Count Roger the Norman landed here in 1091 with an army of men and freed the island from the hated Moors.

Is-Sancir & Migra Ferha (24)

This is supposedly the exact spot where the hoof of the Count’s horse touched the ground as soon as he disembarked from his ship. Legends – you just have to love them.

Is-Sancir & Migra Ferha (28)

Of course, no commander worth his salt would anchor his ships beneath such inhospitable cliffs and then lead an army of men and horses up the steep slopes. So although we know that Count Roger did come to Malta in 1091 he must have landed in a much safer place. The story goes that the locals greeted him with the shouts of Kyrie Eleison, that he freed all the Christian slaves from the clutches of the Moors and sent them (the Moors) packing and that everyone was so grateful to him that they adopted the colours of his coat-of-arms as our national flag.

Migra l-Ferha (19)

The truth is that the Moors stayed here until 1123 and paid Count Roger a yearly tribute and our national flag came into being much later (although no one knows precisely when).

You will find a brief history of this period here.

Migra l-Ferha (23)

This should give you a better perspective of how far down the ‘hoof mark’ is and - yes, those men are fishing.

Is-Sancir & Migra Ferha (23)

(These photos were taken on two different days in March – one that was rather stormy and the other on a sunny day).

Location: Migra Ferha, March 2014

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