- Grand Harbour
Grand Harbour (in Maltese: Il-Port il-Kbir) is a
natural harbouron the island of Malta. It has been used as a harboursince at least Phoeniciantimes. The natural harbour has been greatly improved with extensive docks and wharves, and has been massively fortified.
The harbour mouth faces north east and is bounded to the north by
St Elmo's Pointand further sheltered by an isolated breakwater and is bounded to the south by Ricasoli Point. Its north west shore is formed by the Scebarras peninsula, which is largely covered by the city of Vallettaand its suburb Floriana. This peninsula also divides Grand Harbour from a second parallel natural harbour, Marsamxett Harbour. The main waterway of Grand Harbour continues inland almost to Marsa. The south eastern shore of the harbour is formed by a number of inlets and headlands, principally Rinella Creek, Kalkara Creek, Dockyard Creek, and French Creek, which are covered by Kalkaraand the Three Cities: Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea.
With its partner harbour of Marsamxett, Grand Harbour lies at the centre of gently rising ground. Development has grown up all around the twin harbours and up the slopes so that the whole bowl is effectively one large
conurbation. Much of Malta's population lives within a three kilometer radius of Floriana. This is now one of the most densely populated areas in Europe.
Grand Harbour was the base for the
Knights of St Johnfor 268 years, and after their departure became a strategic base for the British for a further 170 years. It was the site in the late 16th century of a devastating tornado that killed 600 people and destroyed a shipping armada. The area was the scene of much of the fighting in the First Siege of Malta when the Turks attempted to eject the Knights of St John. The whole area was savagely bombed during the Second Siege of Malta during World War II, as the docks and military installations around the portwere legitimate targets for Axis bombers. However collateral damagewrecked much of Valletta and The Three Cities, and caused large numbers of civilian casualties.
The harbours and docks are still active but with the departure of the
British Militarythe harbour lost much of its military significance. A considerable part of Malta's commercial shippingis now handled by the new free portat Kalafrana, so the harbour is much quieter than it was in the first half of the 20th century.
Around the Grand Harbour from
Fort Ricasolito Fort St. Elmo
**Kalkara Strand, Kalkara
Fort St. Angelo
Dockyard Creekor Cottonera Marina
**St. Angelo Strand, Birgu
**Xatt il-Forn, Birgu
**Xatt ir-Risq, Birgu
**Xatt San Lawrenz, Birgu
Dock No. 1, Bormla
**Xatt Juan B. Azzopardi,
Fort St. Micheal
**Dock No. 2
**Ghajn Dwieli Road
**Dock No. 6
*Ras Ħanżir Point
**Shipwrights Wharf, Paola
**Dock No. 7
**Bridge Wharf, Marsa
**Braken Wharf, Marsa
**Il-Moll tal-Ħatab, Marsa
**Moll iċ-Ċangatura, Marsa
*Xatt l-Għassara ta' l-Għeneb, Marsa
Valletta Waterfrontor Pinto Wharf, Floriana
*Xatt il-Barriera, Valletta
Fort St. Elmo
A Vision for Malta's Grand Harbour
The Grand Harbour, the backdrop to
Malta's History, is set to experience a regeneration as the Maltese Government, in September 2007, unveiled 20 proposed projects that would revamp the area while respecting its historic value.
The 20 proposals are these:
* A New Cruise Liner Terminal in
* Extending the Valletta Cruise Liner Terminal
promenadefrom Ricasoliall the way to Senglea
yacht marinain Kalkara
* Conversion of Sir
Paul Boffahospital into a hotel
* A new tourism and cultural sector
* A center for the audio-visual industry in
* Restoration of
* Super yachts along the Senglea
* Discontinuing the Cleaning of Tanks
* A Commercial Maritime Park
* Maritime institute
* Maritime services
* Closing down the Marsa Power Station
Afforestationof the Rinella Valley
* Rinella Creek
* New maritime infrastructure in Kalkara
* The reorganisation of "Xatt il-Mollijiet"
* Extension of quay infrastructe in Coradino
* A Base for Towing Services in "Xatt il-Knisja"
* [http://www.guidetomalta.net/valletta_harbour.htm Valletta Grand Harbour] - An impression of a tour around Grand Harbour
* [http://www.vallettawaterfront.com Valletta Waterfront]
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