The vast walls (called curtains) that protected Valletta from invaders of all persuasions still stand after centuries. Probably the worst battering they withstood was that of the bombing of World War Two. It’s no wonder they remain standing today. Roads into the city run beneath archways cut through the walls and, even at the mad speed Maltese drivers hurtle along at, it takes long moments of darkness to travel the distance.
Gardjolas – sentry posts – are placed strategically on prominent corners of the curtains. This one at Senglea (left) is decorated with an eye and an ear, so there’s no question of its purpose. It’s easily accessed from Senglea Gardens and it cannot fail to fascinate.
The very nature of the stone, much affected by rain and wind, means that maintenance is an ongoing affair. With every building constructed of limestone and so much restorative work, there’s no such thing as an unemployed stone mason in Malta.
There’s some concern that this beautiful white limestone is actually running out. This mason seemed to think he was working on the last of this particular commodity.
This morning, before having lunch with Cousins Doris and Vince, I spent a fruitful hour or so in the Maritime Museum. Yet more history to absorb. Quite unable to retain so much new-found knowledge, I bought a book. Okay, I know, there’s always the Internet, but there’s nothing quite like a book written by a knowledgable local to impart meaningful historical facts.