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THE GREAT SIEGE OF

1565

The Mediterranean Sea was dominated by two major powers. The East was the area of influence by the Ottoman Empire, while the West was part and parcel of the Spanish Empire. Malta stood in the midst of these two opposing forces. When they reached Malta in 1530, the Knights of St. John and some Rhodes families settled at Vittoriosa (Birgu). The Castrum Maris, Malta’s major fort, in a strategic position guarding the Grand Harbour, was renamed Fort St Angelo. This fort started to host the Order’s headquarters, as well as the official residence of the Grand Master. The ambition of the Ottoman Sultan fell on the Maltese Islands. The Knights had to be removed from Malta and the islands should become the hub from where the Turks could organise their attacks on the Spanish Empire’s lands. In 1551 a scathing attack by the Turks, occurred on Malta. The Turks pillaged and ransacked the islands, taking most of the Gozitan population into slavery. The Knights had to reinforce Malta’s weak fortifications. They knew that someday the Turks would return with a large force to attack the islands once more. Fort St Elmo was later built meanwhile the Knights turned their attention on Fort St Angelo. In 1533 the St Angelo Battery was built, followed by the D’Homedes Bastion, Ferramolino’s Cavalier and de Guiral Battery. They also built a fort on Senglea – Fort St Michael. In May 1565 the Turkish fleet sailed in Maltese waters. The Turks managed to place themselves in the Xiberras promontory (where Valletta stands) as well as on San Salvatore Hill (today Kalkara). The first attacks concentrated on Fort St Elmo. The Turks wanted a safe port for their vessels. Grand Master Jean de La Valette coordinated the daily defensive and offensive strategies from Fort St Angelo. This same fort served as the main supply centre for the war provisions. Its guns were also engaged in counteracting the Ottoman batteries. At the beginning of September, news reached the Turkish camps that a large Christian force would be landing on Malta to help the Knights and the Maltese. This news developed into panic among the Turkish forces. The Turks packed and ran to St Paul’s Bay, where their vessels were waiting for them to take them home. The siege was over. No wonder that the 8th September, the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady is also referred to, among the Maltese, as the feast of Our Lady of the Victories.


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WORLD TOURISM DAY

It’s great if you happen to be in Malta on World Tourism Day (WTD). This is a commemorative day which is celebrated yearly by the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation to mark the importance of the world-wide industry that is tourism. World Tourism Day of 2012, is being held under the theme Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development. What greater opportunity to highlight tourism’s role in a brighter energy future? A future in which the world’s entire population has access to modern, efficient and affordable energy services. Tourism, one of the world’s largest economies, has already taken important steps towards this future – improving energy efficiency and increasingly using renewable energy technologies in its operations. These steps are creating jobs, lifting people out of poverty and helping to protect the planet. Keep the day of September 27 and its close dates available whilst in Malta since The Malta Tourism Authority will be organising various initiatives that are meant to mark and celebrate this year's chosen theme. Free fliers being distributed to all tourism accommodation sectors in Malta and Gozo help to point out ways of how to reduce the carbon footprint whilst enjoying their holiday in the Maltese islands. A series of free events are intended to entertain tourists visiting our islands between September 22 and September 30.

Programme World Tourism Day Saturday, September 22, 20.00 – 22.00 hrs WTD CONCERT – Golden Voices in Xlendi Sunday, September 23, 9.30 – 12.30 hrs. ECO-TOUR : Visit a Vineyard. Thursday, September 27 PLANT A TREE under the Tree 4 U Scheme Friday September 28, 20.00 – 22.00 hrs WTD - CONCERT – Malta’s Golden Voices in Bay Square, Bu©ibba Friday, September 28 ARTISAN FAIR in Bay Square, Bu©ibba. SUNDAY September 30. 09.30 – 12.00 hrs ECO TOUR to an Olive Grove to observe pressing of olive oil. For further information email info@visitmalta.com or tel: 22915401/2.


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Ta’ Ìurdan Lighthouse Lighthouse enthusiasts know that even on such a minuscule island such as Gozo there exists an important lighthouse that has become more than a mere landmark. The Ta’ Ìurdan Lighthouse, built in 1851 by the British during the British colonial period, started operating in 1853. Its purpose was to monitor and assist maritime traffic which could be clearly overseen from the lighthouse’s vantage point. Situated on the Ta’ Ìurdan Hill, the lighthouse is located 161 metres above sea level and overlooks the quaint seaside village of G˙asri. Constructed in another age and time, the lighthouse functioned thanks to 21 purposely-designed oil lamps, seven on each of its three sides. The brass reflectors were silver plated, and these, in addition to a system of large lenses gave the best effect, so that, as documented, the lighthouses boasted a beam that was visible 38 miles away, and was more powerful than that emanating from St. Elmo in Valletta.


16 l 17 With the passing of time, the lighthouse succumbed to a few technological upgrades in 1962 and again some 30 years later in 1994, so that eventually Ta' Ġurdan Lighthouse could be operated unmanned due to a modern system of electromechanical timers and devices. However, better maritime navigation technology meant that nowadays sea-faring vessels can do without such a powerful beam and the lighthouse’s importance has somehow diminished. Nowadays the lighthouse is being used as a meteorological station. The site of the lighthouse remains however a tantalising one to visit especially with the spectacular view from atop the hill. When the lighthouse attendant is present, he will allow visitors to peek inside, and climb up the spiral staircase to the top of the lighthouse. It is a magnificent opportunity to experience a 360 degree panorama of the island.

GOZO EVENTS DURING SEPTEMBER 1

Miss Gozo for Miss Malta. Fashion, beauty and entertainment. G˙ajnsielem football club terrace, Our Lady of Loreto Square, G˙ajnsielem. www.ghajnsielem.com

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Delicata Wine Festival. Nadur. www.gozo.com/nadur

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Il-Fjakkolata tax-Xlendi. Traditional fire-lighting of Xlendi’s bay celebrating the hamlet’s festa of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. www.munxar.gov.mt

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Pjazza Madonna tal-Karmnu, Xlendi. munxar.lc@gov.mt 6-8

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Feast of The Nativity of Our Lady. Village festa including religious and social activities in the square and main streets of Xag˙ra. www.xaghraparish.org The Great Siege and World War II. A live re-enactment in Victory Square, Xag˙ra. www.xaghraparish.org The Rotary Gozo Art Exhibition. Collective art exhibition St Ursola Hall, Cittadella Centre for Culture & Arts, Gozo Citadel, Victoria. www.gozoculture.com

Il-Óu©©ie©a ta’ San Ìwann. Folkloristic St. John’s bonfire, including an exhibition of animals and other local traditions. Triq l-G˙arus, Xewkija. www.xewkija.gov.mt

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Victory Day. Remembering the victories of the Great Siege of 1565 and World War II. Independence Square, Victoria. www.gozoculture.com

Feast of Il-Madonna tal-G˙aΩΩiela. Co-titular feast including religious and social activities in the square and main streets of Ûebbu©. www.zebbuggozo.com

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Cinderella by Prokofiev. Sweet Music – Ballet on the big screen in St John’s demi-Bastion, Gozo Citadel, Victoria. www.gozoculture.com

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Musical Concert with the participation of the Victory Philarmonic Band. Our Lady of Victories Square, Xag˙ra. Victory Band Club on 21556835.

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Xlendi Summer Nights. Open-air film screening of The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin - 1925).

15-16 Feast of our Lady of Graces. Hamlet feast including religious and social activities in the main streets of Victoria. Franciscan Capupcchins’ Friary on 2155 6608

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Xlendi Summer Nights. Open-air film screening of La Strada (Federico Fellini - 1954). Pjazza Madonna tal-Karmnu, Xlendi. munxar.lc@gov.mt

20-23 Qala International Folk Festival of music and dance with the participation of foreign and local groups. St. Joseph Square, Qala. www.qala.gov.mt 22

Independence Day. Concert by the Armed Forces of Malta Band. Independence Square, Victoria. www.gozoculture.com

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Kids Fun Fair. An activity for children and families. Pjazza tad-Dehra, G˙ajnsielem. www.ghajnsielem.com

28-21 George Fenech Commemorative Exhibition. Exhibition Hall, Ministry for Gozo, St. Francis Square, Victoria. www.gozo.gov.mt 28-21 Paintings by Colette Marchant. Exhibition by a French artist. St Ursola Hall, Cittadella Centre for Culture & Arts, Gozo Citadel, Victoria. www.gozoculture.com


LIVING IN MALTA & GOZO A PLACE IN THE SUN Malta and Gozo are becoming increasingly popular locations for the purchase or rental of second homes. Situated at the very heart of the Mediterranean Sea, with easy access from all major cities in Europe, North Africa and neighbouring states, the Islands have many advantages to offer, including the following:

WHY MALTA • An excellent climate with pleasant all year round weather. • Genuinely friendly and hospitable people who will make it easy to integrate within the local community. • Very low levels of crime which make Malta one of the safest places in the region. • A member of the European Union since 2004, Malta is an independent republic enjoying political stability. • English is one of the two official languages of the Islands and is spoken fluently by everyone. • The Island boasts a high standard of hospital and medical services, both private and public. • Excellent schooling, often exceeding international standards, with a choice of English-speaking schools and University. • A relatively low cost of living. • A stable property market offering a wide variety of properties in all price ranges, and good prospects for capital growth. These, together with an abundance of historical and cultural attractions, crystal clear seas, a variety of sporting facilities (including world class diving) and a lively calendar of events, make these Islands a favourite for those seeking their dream ‘Place in the Sun'. Moreover, the residency conditions are very attractive and include a favourable tax regime and the absence of Rates or Council taxes.

FLYING TIMES Malta – London 3.05hrs Malta – Frankfurt 2.35hrs Malta – Rome 1.15hrs

Malta – Amsterdam 3.05hrs Malta – Paris 2.35hrs Malta – Cairo 2.25hrs

PURCHASE OF PROPERTY BY NON-MALTESE BUYERS It is quite easy for a non-Maltese to purchase property in Malta and Gozo. Naturally, some conditions apply including certain restrictions regarding the minimum value of property that can be purchased and the use that the buyer will make of the property. Some buyers may also require a special permit.

MORE INFORMATION For further information and assistance, we recommend that you contact one of the excellent local Estate Agents who can offer professional guidance and advice to help you make the best choice.

If you are an expatriate living in Malta or Gozo...

you may regularly receive a copy of this monthly magazine in your mail with our compliments. Simply e-mail your name and address to: info@impactpr.com.mt


MAL MAL TA&GOZO TA&GOZ 18 l 19

D A Y B Y D A Y

THE REGATTA EVERY 8TH SEPTEMBER IS A SPECIAL DAY FOR SPORTS AND FOLKLORE, AS ON THIS DAY THE REGATTA IS HELD IN THE GRAND HARBOUR. THIS SERIES OF BOAT RACES ARE KNOWN AS THE NATIONAL REGATTA OR TAL-VITORJA. DURING THESE RACES ONE CAN SEE SEVERAL TYPES OF BOATS, THE MOST COMMON ARE THOSE WHICH ARE MADE IN MALTA SUCH AS THE FERILLI (A FISHING BOAT), THE CAIQUES AND THE DGĂ“AJJES. These races must have started as part of the celebrations of the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady (also known as Our Lady of the Victories), known in Malta as Il-Bambina. From various manuscripts, it was found that boat races were very common on feastdays, particularly between the capital city Valletta and the historic cities (Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea) that surrounds the main harbours. The Vitorja races must have been a popular event by 1642 as Martino Fiteni, a Cospicua man made a petition to the Grand Master asking permission to hold a boat race in the Grand Harbour on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, as the people of the city of Senglea holds theirs. This permission was granted on the 9th September 1642. These boat races were popular not only with the people of Senglea but also with the nearby people. In 1878 four competitive districts were well prepared for such races with strong and experienced crews, selected carefully from the boatmen. Make it a point to visit either one of the historical cities or the capital city on the 8th September. In the afternoon, head towards the Grand Harbour to be able to enjoy these races. The best places are Senglea and Valletta waterfronts.


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Image © Clive Vella - viewingmalta.com

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LAMPUKI SEASON Lampuki friski, lampuki ˙ajjin. The mobile fish monger’s cry says is it all – Lampuki, fresh, alive and still kicking. The lampuka is in season at this time of the year and this Mediterranean fish, typical of Maltese waters is a highly prized catch. Also referred to as Dolphin fish or Dorado, the lampuka can, in barely six months, grow up to a whopping three kilograms in weight. Delicious when cooked and abundantly caught, the lampuka enjoys a long and ancient tradition linked to Maltese fishermen. Typically devout, Maltese fishermen start the season by having their boats blessed to augur for a prosperous catch and a safe fishing season. Being quite hot and humid, September weather urges the fish to seek the cool waters. In order to achieve this, fishermen cut numerous palm fronds from palm plantations around the island and carry these palm fronds out to sea. By laying the palm fronds on the water’s

surface, a long stretch of shaded water is created and this is where the lampuki congregate. This makes the catch that much easier for the fishermen who only have to use their nets to capture the fish. Purchasing freshly caught lampuki at fish markets means the fish are as fresh as fresh can be. They are sold practically minutes after arriving on the fishing boats, so that markets such as those of the fishing villages of Marsaxlokk in Malta and Marsalforn in Gozo, are the most popular by far. However, mobile fish vendors tour the streets of Malta’s villages, to sell the lampuki to the locals at any time of day. Maltese cuisine calls for very precise ways of cooking the lampuka. Fried, oven-baked or made into pies. Whichever recipe one fancies, the lampuka remains a mouthwatering Mediterranean speciality about which the Maltese are especially proud.


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ÛEJT IÛ-

ÛEJTUN THE OLIVE OIL EVENT IMAGINE LIVING IN A TOWN WHOSE VERY NAME IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE OLIVE TREE, ITS FRUITS THE OLIVES AND OLIVE PRESSING. ÛEJTUN IS SUCH A TOWN SITUATED IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF MALTA. WITH ITS ORIGINS DATING BACK TO ANCIENT TIMES, HAS A LONG TRADITION IN CULTIVATING OLIVE TREES AND PRODUCING PRIZED OLIVE OIL. SINCE THE PUNIC AND ROMAN CIVILISATIONS, ÛEJTUN HAD OLIVE PICKING AND OIL MAKING AS ONE OF ITS MAIN INDUSTRIES. TODAY, OLIVE OIL AND ITS BY-PRODUCTS ARE HIGHLY APPRECIATED AS AN INTRINSIC PART OF A TYPICALLY MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE AND CONDUCIVE TO A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Ûejt iΩ-Ûejtun is an annual local event celebrating the olive picking season and olive pressing to be held in Ûejtun on the evening of Saturday 29 September and on the morning of Sunday 30 September. Organized by the Ûejtun Local Council, the event will be officially introduced on Saturday evening with a medieval-styled BANDU announcing the event. Next in line will be a defile of village folk and farmers dressed in full traditional costume, arriving in style on carts carrying the olive harvest for pressing. Drummers and flag bearers in medieval garb, as well as folk singers and dancers will be present. To complement the event, key local historical and civic sites will be open to the public It will be an excellent opportunity to go back in time and see all the typical agricultural tools and products as well as some folk art exhibited in the ambience of an old country village and fair. Free food tasting will include the tradition Maltese ftajjar and crunchy crusted bread abundantly dressed in newly pressed olive oil. An audio visual presentation will document olive tree varieties and their proper cultivation. Olive trees and associated products will be on sale to take back home. Early Sunday morning will see a defile of horses and pets which will be presented for the traditional blessing in the village centre. The two civic band clubs and church belfries will also be open for public viewing.


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Property is being sold finished

For further details please visit: www.impactproperties.net Or call: 2125 1339, 9947 5864


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PROUD TO BE LOCAL Local Council Events during September

Saturday 1 - BIRÛEBBUÌIA In©eddu Tfulitna – Renew our Childhood Memories of a Maltese summer spent at the beach. Saturday 1 - PAOLA Notte a’ Casal Paola Discovering historical landmarks in and around Paola, including the fascinating Hal Saflieni Hypogeum with performances, art and eateries. Sunday 2 - FGURA The Fgura Arts and Food Fighting Festival Tomato fighting, live entertainment, dog show, food and beverage competitions, kids’ events such as face painting, bouncy castles and bottle shooting. C

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Friday 7 till Sunday 9 - MARSASKALA Iljieli Skalin – Marsaskala Nights A three-day event full of activities, with: Historical facts, fun train rides, various exhibitions, ancient towers, hundreds of salt pans, Maltese traditional food and products in brine, dancing, musical performances, choirs, In Guardia. Saturday 8 - SLIEMA Past and Present Arts Festival Friday 14 - QORMI Festa ta’ Ħobż – Bread Feast Traditional Maltese bread-making, several metres’ long Bezzun (bread roll) on sale, of the Maltese traditional bread pudding competition. Saturday 15 - QORMI Lejl f’Casal Fornaro Traditional food, exhibitions, drama performances, traditional shows, folkloristic dance, artistic displays. Friday 14 till Sunday 16 - SENGLEA Festival of historical and cultural heritage. Showcases Senglea’s socio-historical and cultural heritage and the potential of the locality. Sunday 16 - MARSA Il-Medda taż-Żmien – Time Range Saturday 22 - ÓAMRUN Chocolate Festival Chocoholics are invited - information about chocolate, its history production and presentation, chocolate for sale, kids’ corner, exhibitions, local talent, Grand Master and Knights in epic costumes. Saturday 29 till Sunday 30 - ÛEJTUN Żejt iż-Żejtun – The Olive Oil Event A way to celebrate the start of olive-picking season and witness traditional olive pressing.


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Malta & Gozo Day By Day September 2012  

The September 2012 issue of Malta & Gozoa Day By Day

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