Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Stroll along Balluta Bay

Emmanuele Luigi Galizia, the proponent of Gothic Revival in Malta
designed the Carmelite Church in Balluta Bay

Balluta Bay is on the northeast coast of Malta between the towns of Sliema and St.Julians (San Giljan). It is a popular recreation spot and a well known area by locals and tourists alike. The promenade provides a lovely walk along the bay and goes both ways towards Spinola Bay as well as towards Sliema on the other side.

With my DH having a few days off this week, we were able to go out more often especially in the evenings. One such occasion was when we went over to the Sliema/St.Julians area for a stroll along the Promenade. It has been ages since we did this...we really don't like crowds and with the parking problem it is definitely something we don't do often. Thanks to our son's GF's kind gesture she offered to drive us there, so my DH did not have to worry about parking at all. I'm so glad I took my camera along with me as I was able to capture a few lovely pictures of this beautiful area to share with you.

The picture at the top of this posting shows the neo-gothic Carmelite Parish Church overlooking Balluta Bay and dominating the skyline on this one side. It is such a relief to see that the fine
cluster of terraced townhouses in the local variant of Georgian-style architecture still stands (see old picture below). On the opposite side, that is on the south shore of the Bay, a modern hotel Le Méridien St.Julian's Hotel, built on the grounds surrounding the 18th century Villa Cassar Torregiani outlines the skyline on this side and stands in contrast to the opposite could even say this is where old meets new!

The picture above is the south shore of the bay across from the church ... here you may be able to see a water-polo pitch and several shops and apartments overlooking this side of the inlet. The hotel I mentioned above is situated on this side but is not in the picture.

The stunning art nouveau
Balluta Buildings

These are the stunning art nouveau Balluta Buildings, which are apartment buildings on the eastern shore.
Giuseppe Psaila (1891–1960) and Andrea Vassallo (1856–1928) were the two prominent architects who created this masterpiece, Balluta Buildings, completed in 1928. These two architects focused on the more sinuous, nature-inspired features of Art Nouveau.

They are still as imposing as when they were constructed in 1928 but we noticed that, unfortunately, they are in quite a pitiful state and as far as we could see mostly uninhabited. We are hoping something will be done soon to preserve this historical building.

This is an old picture of Balluta Bay which I found as public domain ~ Notice how deserted the streets were then and with barely any traffic. I can just make out a bus passing in front of the church.
You might even notice a difference in the church facade which was refurbished some years ago along with an extension to accommodate the ever-increasing population. Both the church and Balluta Buildings can be seen clearly here in their prime.

ST. JULIANS is an extension of Sliema. It started as a small fishing port around the two bays of Spinola and Balluta but like Sliema it is now a major residential town and tourist centre with numerous shops, restaurants and hotels.

This was only part of our stroll of course...we had a lovely evening and a delicious meal on the terrace of one of the fine dining places overlooking the sea. I wish we could do this every day but then it would not be so special!


  1. What I wouldn't give to have dinner and a walk there. It looks so wonderful :)

  2. Lee, what I wouldn't give to sit and watch the sunset over the lake at your place, maybe we could exchange places, for a while at least : )
    Thanks for stopping by, yes there are many lovely places on the island well worth a visit once in a while.

  3. Oh, Doreen, that is just soooo beautiful, so romantic, so peaceful and lovely! :) Beautiful, gorgeous.... Awesome! Sigh... just makes me feel at peace looking at these pics! LOL...

  4. I'm glad you had your camera. Those pictures are great. I love your music also.

  5. Hi Marcia and Daisy Soap Girl, thanks for visiting, I am so glad you are all enjoying the pictures so much...I will try and post some more soon. Happy you like my music too DSG : )

  6. Hi sis, so you've finally decided to get away from your roof and have a nice time for a change. I am glad you enjoyed your evening. I love the pictures ... it makes me want to be there once again, what a pity we couldn't make it this year. Your post is very interesting especially the part about the Balluta Buildings architects, I have always loved those buildings.

  7. Hi Sue, glad you enjoyed the post...yeah it would've been great to see you all again, well next year hopefully : )

  8. Those Balluta buildings have always fascinated me and on reading that most of the apartments are apparently uninhabited and in a pitiful state it made me feel sad. I just cannot understand why we have to leave so many historical and lovely buildings to rot before we make a move to preserve them?

  9. What beautiful pictures! You are so very lucky to have something that beautiful so near! TFS!

  10. I totally agree with you there Zen as to preserving our historical buildings, I think alot more can be done. Nice of you to stop by : )
    Hi Amber, everywhere in Malta is quite near, the only problem is getting there in our heavy traffic! Glad you liked the pictures : )


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