Saturday, March 21, 2009

Balconies and Lookout points

It is amazing what you will notice when you are out walking with a camera in hand. As we walked through the narrow streets in Balzan yesterday, I lagged behind as every building became a focus point for my camera.

To anyone walking through the streets in Malta and Gozo, the stone buildings with their different balconies and lookout points including rooftops stand out. They beg tourists to become one of their treasured snapshots of an island steeped in history.

The open stone balcony probably dates back to medieval times and had a protective/lookout enclosure made of stone, wood or wrought iron. Some time during the 18th centruy it became popular to replace the open balconies with an enclosed timber one.

Tassels or shells to geometrical patterns or intrinsic carvings were used throughout the ages to decorate our open stone balconies.

As a note of interest, it is believed that the first closed timber balcony appeared in Malta around the year 1679, when the corner balcony of the Grand Master's Palace in Valletta was covered with a structure made of timber and glass.

Today we still see the ornament free closed timber balcony which offers shelter from sun and rain as well as the open balconies which are more popular with newer buildings.

It will be interesting to see what else I can find to photograph the next time and I will surely be on the look out for more.


  1. Love your pictures and the architecture of your area. Very interesting as here in MT (USA) we do not have many balconies on the newer homes but on older ones we see many more. TFS, Cathy

  2. Doreen, this is becoming a very interesting blog!
    Great job on the photos!

  3. Hey girls thanks so much for your uplifting comments and for your encouragement.

  4. What wonderful pictures and history lesson!! It make me want to visit! I'll have to add Malta to my "wish list" of places to visit. TFS!!

  5. Thanks Amber!
    I'm wishing that you get your wish granted some day so we could meet : )
    Malta has a lot to offer especially in history, you would love it!

  6. What a wonderful blog! My sil just got back from a trip to Malta. I can't wait to hear all about it :) (LeeW)

  7. How nice to see your here Lee.
    Wow I would have loved to meet your SIL Lee...hope she has good things to say about us LOL!
    Maybe it will be your turn next to come over.


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