Malta Tourism Authority UK wins Tourist Board of the year

For the second year running, the Malta Tourism Authority, London Office has won the TTG Award for the UK’s Tourist Board of the Year. “This award is regarded as the most prestigious award in the UK travel industry and the highlight of the industry’s calendar. It is held each year at London’s renowned Lyceum Theatre by Travel Trade Gazette, the UK’s leading trade weekly and oldest travel industry publication in the world. No tourist board has won this award on consecutive years in recent history,” an MTA statement read….  

Save Valletta’s Skyline


Towering 200 feet over the seaward approach to Valletta, St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Malta is a vital part of Malta’s rich cultural heritage. It is a universally recognised Valletta landmark and a historic and iconic element of the skyline of Valletta.It pays homage to St Paul who was shipwrecked here in about AD 60 and brought Christianity to Malta. To imagine Valletta’s skylne without the tower of the Pro-Cathedral is just as inconceivable as imagining St Mark’s Square in Venice, without its historic campanile.

The fabric of the cathedral is now in dire and urgent need of restoration. Recent architectural inspections have identified severe problems threatening the tower, the spire and external and internal stonework. And an urgent appeal has now been launched to raise €3 million to save this iconic structure, which is one of the most universally recognised features of the Valletta skyline.
St Paul’s has strong connections with British royalty. Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV funded the building of the cathedral from the Privy Purse between 1839 and 1844. Her Majesty the Queen, as the then Princess Elizabeth worshipped here with Prince Philip when they lived in Malta between 1949 and 1951 and they have returned on numerous occasion since then, including state visits in 1967, 1992 and 2015. Prince Charles and Princess Anne also worshipped here whilst on unofficial holiday visits with the then Governor-General’s family in 1968 and 1970. And the HRH the Duke of Edinburgh remains Patron of the Friends of the Cathedral today. Although Malta is strongly Roman Catholic, the Restoration Appeal Committee is made up of important and influential Maltese and foreign residents in Malta and is under the distinguished patronage of Her Excellency, Marie Louise Preca, President of Malta and His Grace the Archbishop of Malta. The committee is co-chaired by Sir Martin Laing and Martin Scicluna, who is a past President of Din l’Art Helwa, the National Trust of Malta. The campaign approach is ecumenical, historical and cultural and is being backed by all Christian denominations, both Maltese and British – and those passionate about the conservation of Malta’s heritage. It is hoped that the restoration will start as soon as possible so that this important Grade 1 listed building will continue to be open during Valletta’s ‘European City of Culture’ in 2018; and to be completed by November 2019, the 175th Anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral.

Although St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral is one of three cathedrals in the Anglican Diocese in Europe, it has no current endowment and receives no support from the government or Church of England. The congregation meets the annual running and maintenance cost, but cannot fund major works. Sterling donations can be made via the Just Giving website which includes Gift Aid for UK Taxpayers. Or cheques payable to the “Diocese in Europe (St Paul’s Restoration Appeal)” and mailed to: Finance Officer, Diocese in Europe, 14 Tufton Street, London SW1P 3QZ. Gift Aid forms may be downloaded from their website. Payment in euros may be made by cheque to “St Paul’s Anglican Restoration Appeal” and mailed to the St Paul’s Cathedral, Independence Square, Valletta VLT 1535, Malta or by bank transfer to HSBC Bank Malta plc, Valletta Account No: 033-078932-001 SWIFT: MMEBMTMT; IBAN: MT62MMEB44 3 3600 0000 033 078932 001. In this case, Gift Aid cannot be added.

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Nature Claims Gozo’s Iconic Azure Window

March 8th 2016, London: A sad day for the Mediterranean island, today saw the tragic collapse of the iconic Azure Window in Gozo. A breath-taking structure that is believed to be thousands of years old, rough seas have finally taken their toll as the magnificent limestone arch has finally crumbled into the Inland Sea.

One of the most popular destinations on the Maltese archipelago, the idyllic turquoise waters surrounding the limestone sculpture has been a popular site for swimming, scuba diving and boating.

2012 saw a large piece of rock dislocated from the imposing arch, an alteration that has significantly led to its devastating and eventual demise.

While the Azure Window might have finally fallen after thousands of years teetering in its precarious position, the memory of the structure will live on particularly with its presence in blockbuster films. The formation can be seen in films such as Clash of the Titans and The Count of Monte Cristo. The Azure Window was also the backdrop of the wedding between Daenerys and Drogo in the first episode of the hugely popular television series, Game of Thrones.

The arch stands very close to another cultural landmark, Dwejra Bay. A dramatic coastal formation that wraps around the Azure Window, the bay is heralded as one of the top five dive sites in Malta. Despite the heart-breaking collapse of this natural monument, the area will continue to be one of the island’s most picturesque attractions particularly with its sapphire lagoon, excellent hikes, and rockpools abundant in marine life.