L-aktar Parti Antika tas-swar li jdawru l-Belt Marittima tal-Birgu jergghu jinghataw d-dehra originali taghhom
L-aktar parti antika tas-swar li jdawru l-Belt Marittima tal-Birgu jergghu jinghataw d-dehra originali taghhom
Spazju iehor kbir se jkun qed jinghata lura lill-pubbliku fil-Birgu permezz ta’ progett estensiv ta’ restawr tas-swar u t-twaqqigh tal-bini li sa ftit snin ilu kien jintuza biex jinhazen fih iz-zejt.
Dan il-bini f’Sally Porte li jaghmel parti mill-Fortifikazzjoni li jdawru l-Belt Marittima tal-Birgu, li hu maghruf bhala l-Oil Depot u li nbena lejn l-ahhar tas-seklu dsatax, se jitwaqqa’ biex terga tinkixef is-sbuhija tas-swar li ghal mijiet ta’ snin servew ta’ fortifikazzjoni ghall-Birgu, l-ewwel Belt Marittima f’Malta.
Ftit tal-jiem ilu, l-Ministru
tar-Rizorsi u l-Affarijiet
Rurali, il-Perit George Pullicino
zar dan is-sit akkumpanjat
mis-Sindku tal-Birgu, s-Sur
John Boxall, id-Direttur Generali
l-Perit Ray Farrugia u l-Istudjuz
specjalizzat fuq il-Fortifikazzjonijiet
is-Sur Stephen Spiteri u l-Perit
Hermann Bonnici, mit-taqsima
tar-restawr u responsabbli
mix-xoghlijiet tar-restawr tas-swar li qed isiru fil-Birgu bhalissa.
F’diskors qasir li ghamel il-Ministru qal li b’hekk mhux biss se terga’ tiddomina d-dehra original ital-eqdem parti u l-aktar sabiha tas-swar li jdawru l-Belt Storika tal-Birgu, izda se jkunu qed jigu mharsin ukoll is-swar infushom, li kienu qed isofru hsarat strutturali minhabba l-binja tal-Oil Depot, li kienet qed isserrah fuqhom, kif ukoll hsarat ohra fil-gebla minhabba z-zejt li kien jinhazen f’dan il-bini.
Il-Ministru Pullicino kompla billi zied jghid li biex zgur ma ssirx hsara lis-swar, hafna mix-xoghol tat-twaqqiegh qed isir bl-idejn. Il-Ministru spjega wkoll li wara li jitlesta x-xoghol tar-restawr fuq is-swar innifishom, se jsir progett ta’ tisbih fiz-zona qabel ma din tinfetah ghall-pubbliku biex kulhadd ikun jista’ japprezza s-sbuhija arkitettonika ta’ dan il-post.
Jitwaqqa' l-Oil Depot biex jibda r-restawr tas-swar
Recuperating the Post of Castile
MilitaryArchitecture.com notes with satisfaction that the bastioned Hornwork of the Post of Castile in Vittoriosa has finally been given back its proper legibility with the dismantling of a large oil-bunkering structure which had been crudely grafted on to the lower half of the bastioned enceinte during the past century.
This utilitarian structure, of little architectural merit and negligible historic significance, has for the past century deprived Birgu of its most powerful, dramatic, and evocative views along its bastioned enceinte.
Birgu was Malta's first fortified maritime settlement and the first location in Malta which was enclosed by a bastioned enceinte (Citta Nuova) following the arrival of the Order of St John in 1530. Birgu withstood three months of Turkish bombardment and assaults during the Great Siege of 1565, earning it its title of Vittoriosa (victorious ). The city's defences were largely rebuilt after the siege under the supervision of the Maltese military engineer, Girolmu Cassar, and the fortress was again heavily rebuilt during the early eighteenth century under the direction of the Order's French military engineers.
Unfortunately, over the course of the past century or so, some important areas of the harbour fortifications were obstructed with various utilitarian buildings and structures that have detracted considerably from the bastions' full architectural and physical power.
The area known as the Hornworks of the Post of Castile was one such place. This important stretch of the Birgu enceinte, facing Kalkara Creek, and the site of the most important battles of the Great Siege of 1565, provides one of the most dramatic and sculpturally powerful statements of the bastioned trace as introduced by the knights of the Order of St John. In this instance, however, most of the inherent visual power of these magnificent ramparts was dissipated away by a poorly-sited naval depot built early in the twentieth century, which structure was grafted onto the lower half of the ramparts. The recent dismantling works, which were carried out carefully by hand, also revealed the considerable damage that was inflicted to the bastion's masonry fabric by the insertion of the heavy steels beams and concrete bonding employed in the construction of the oil-bunker's roof.
The dismantling works have also brought to light the sally-port which links directly to the ditch of the internal retrenchment.
MilitaryArchitecture.com agrees that this intervention will also make the area more imposing, particularly from a historical, aesthetic and tourism point of view, as it has helped to re-establish the proper relationship between the ramparts, their foreshore and the sea.
After a lapse of a century, the Birgu fortifications are beginning to be seen and experienced as they were originally meant to be.