Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My first postcard from Malta

Colorful Maltese balconies and doors in the City of Valletta
13 Aug 2013 | From Vitalija Stanislauskaite of Lithuania

Vitalija sent me this postcard during her brief stay in Malta.

Valletta is the capital of Malta. It is located in the central-eastern portion of the island of Malta. Valletta is the second southernmost capital of the EU member states after Nicosia.

Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, built during the rule of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, also known as Knights Hospitaller. The city is essentially Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture in selected areas, though World War II left major scars on the city. The City of Valletta was officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.

The use of balconies were first introduced in the city of Valletta. This occurred in the last quarter of the 17th century as a result of the increasing influence of the baroque movement, of which the balcony was a favourite device, in Europe. This latter expanded to the old city of Mdina and the Cottonera area and finally came to the villages during the 18th Century.

Richly decorated balconies also served another purpose. One of the building regulations laid down by the knights for their new city was that blocks had to display some form of sculptural ornamentation at the corners.

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