Small-scale wooden balconies started to appear in Valletta during the mid-eighteenth century and gradually gained popularity and became the fashion. This might have been influenced in no small way by the construction of the two grand wooden balconies of the Grand Master's Palace referred to earlier. So universal was their spread that they eventually came to be referred to by the misleading name of La Maltijja (the Maltese) as if they were original to the place.
In reality this type of balcony was derived from North African, mostly Moroccan, prototypes which again derive from the Arabic Muxrabija (look-out place). During the rule of the Order, Malta was home to a huge number of predominantly Turkish slaves, some of whom were master craftsman who might have helped to introduce the wooden balcony to Malta. Wooden balconies are mostly made of red deal (ta l-ahmar). They used to be priced by purtella (window section) and often matched the main door. In the case of wrought iron ones these were made to match the grada (gate) that separated the main door from the street. But as an old saying puts it "the sun eats the wood while rain gives it drink". Thus our climate is particularly stressful to these structures. The best traditional solution was always thought to be paint which gives the wood strength and oils.
The British introduced a particular type of green that is slowly assuming the status of official colour for wooden balconies, particularly in Valletta. But traditionally, wooden balconies varied in colour like bright red, deep blue and exotic purple. Carpenters were the main craftsmen involved in their creation but blacksmiths were brought in for the various metal parts like gangetti (peg stays) and cappetti (hinges).
Contrary to another popular belief, it must be said that the wooden balcony became widely diffused in the British era, not the Orders'. This was due to the availability of timber, the consequent reduction in price and relative prosperity. Prior to the arrival of the British and their transformation of Malta into one of the main Mediterranean ports, timber was prohibitively expensive.
Critiques | Translate
yquem46 (38746) 2014-03-03 8:42
Very unusual to see such old houses with balconies of various pastel colors
Good light and nice compo in vertical format
best regards, have a nice day
cornejo (34044) 2014-03-03 9:21
Hello Daniel, very good photograph of this beautiful and interesting facade with typical Maltese balconies, beautifully captured in this interesting image, with very good perspective, great sharpness, nice light, color and quality. Excellent and interesting job well done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
Good evening and happy start to the week.
Best wishes from southern Spain.
timecapturer (49288) 2014-03-03 9:28
a classy mix of shapes and colours this. Gloriously detailed and a beautifully artistic presentation. Love it!
Have a good week - B.
PaulVDV (23417) 2014-03-03 9:36
WOW ! This is a superb picture of La Valletta !
A wonderful collection of differently coloured balconies.
Excellent view upwards and great sharpness.
Best regards, Paul
claudeD (34420) 2014-03-03 9:36
very fine and colorful picture from Malta with perfect clarity and sharpness. I like the view very much.Very well done.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
Cricri (109735) 2014-03-03 9:40
Magnifique, un format, une version large et le cadrage sont excellent, la lumière fait ressortir a la fois la texture des pierres et le rendu des couleurs, très jolie
Royaldevon (31841) 2014-03-03 9:41
This is unmistakably your style.
The balconies proliferate in their many colours and styles, jostling for position like spectators at a match! Excellent sharp details and fine light management.
My warm regards,
npecanhuk (68210) 2014-03-03 12:09
Charming colorful balconies in those lovely façades!
Beautiful and attractive picture with excellent sharpness, exposure, colors, vertical format, chosen pov and composition!
TFS - congrats,
saxo042 (37596) 2014-03-03 12:14
An abundance of colours and details! There are indeed many enjoyable details here and the note is also very interesting. A perfect TE contribution!
Romano46 (18472) 2014-03-03 12:52
un bel crop, ma il tuoi senso artistico è di alto livello e il risultato è sempre assicurato.
Colori, nitidezza e composizione sono sempre quanto di meglio si possa proporre.
Ciao e buona notte
lousat (79868) 2014-03-03 14:23
Hi Daniel,a fantastic collage of colors and balconies in a spectacular perspective,you know how to catch the best from places like this,truly great,i like it! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
carlo62 (36191) 2014-03-03 14:34
qui c'è una moltitudine di colori pastello trasformati in finestre e balconi. Belle facciate, lo schiacciamento dell'obiettivo e della prospettiva, le rendono ancora più efficaci.
Waylim (25368) 2014-03-03 15:27
Very good shot, love all the variety of color balconies. Excellent quality with good details and texture of the archtecture. Good POV and composition.
ACL1978 (7511) 2014-03-03 16:26
Hi Daniel - beautiful collection of colored balconies here, some looking quite old. Fascinating history for them as well. Would love to see a straight ahead view here to get a sense of them as a whole, but I imagine that's impossible on what I'm betting is a fairly narrow street. Thanks for this wonderful angle!
jjcordier (77870) 2014-03-03 22:41
L'architecture de ces balcons est très intéressante et leurs couleurs variées apportent un intérêt supplémentaire à cette superbe photo.
COSTANTINO (57947) 2014-03-03 23:03
Hello dear friend
impessive and excellent chosen point of view
showing those colorful balconies
nice and interesting work welldone
with the greatest lightness
a real postcard by which we
travel to this beautiful place
have a nice day
emka (82638) 2014-03-03 23:44
hello Daniel, These colourful wooden balconies are really beautiful. creative way to show them. Superb composition.
Have a nice day
BennyV (13905) 2014-03-04 0:30
Great details here, Daniel. And superb bright colours. A great view, well captured. Have a fine week.
Nicou (126366) 2014-03-04 0:50
quelle mise en valeur des détail de cette aincienne façades avec les balcons le barrière ces décorations murale et la perspective splendide.
Bravo et amitié
SnapRJW (31623) 2014-03-04 3:02
Hello Daniel - A very attractive close crop composition which shows off the details of the balconies well. The characterful textures, colours and styles are making a pleasing subject. Nicely done! Warm regards Rosemary
nikkitta (15788) 2014-03-04 12:17
Informative note about the origen of the balconies made of wooden and the way they are painted
I saw in Iquique a port at the very north of Chile, streets and of course houses made of wood, also painted to preserve them
Super oriinal captue, congrats
liquid_sk (296) 2014-03-04 23:36
Wonderful photo, well done on the capturing the nice colors of this building. The only thing that minds me is the string/cable, but it seems unavoidable. Thumbs up!
Best regards, Slavko!
macjake (58920) 2014-03-04 23:37
this is probably the most colorful photo i've seen of these wood balconies.
Usually we see 1 or 2 colorful ones, but here we see a number of them.
this is like a colorful rainbow.
lots of textures too.
siudzi (34119) 2014-03-07 23:05
What a beautiful view you have found and photographed! These colorful wooden balconies look totally interesting and unique for me. Amazing capture, very well done!
Have a nice weekend!
SWEETFREEDOM (23084) 2014-03-08 4:55
characteristic balconies and lovely mix of colors.
Angshu (56406) 2014-03-12 2:42
The balconies and their multiple colours looks fine. I like the tight crop which shows these balconies properly in good light. Well done!
adores (39250) 2014-03-29 17:51
Good perspective to show the details of these famous balconies. They are very beautiful and colourful and make the streets so interesting. Good light also!
You're going to rent a car here? If you do, you have to much to discover:)!