This is the most common image associated to Valletta: the wooden balconies.
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
ryno (6865) 2014-08-11 6:32
Hi Daniel, there's beautiful architectural detail in this shot. Great colours, lines and textures. This type of photo is often difficult to pull off, but you have managed to capture some of the atmosphere of this part of Valletta.
kasianowak (9355) 2014-08-11 6:41
Wonderful collection of patterns and pastel colours! You selected the details to photograph so well.
serp2000 (44612) 2014-08-11 6:55
Great! I love it! Outstanding capture of the details of local architecture. Excellent choice of the point of view, fine crop. It could be a page of of calendar or tourist booklet, for example. TFS!
Greetings from rainy Ural!
adidas5nb (5743) 2014-08-11 6:58
that is a stunning shot accompanying the note.love the tight frame and the details and the light.
snunney (100850) 2014-08-11 7:03
I like this close-up on these emblematic balconies of Malta. Just begging to be photographed. Very well framed and with superb colours and detail.
miumiu (6113) 2014-08-11 7:05
You (and Stephen/snunney) bring lovely, Maltese, Mediterranean feelings, atmosphere to TE.
This is a pure Maltese scene again.
l like these charming and colourful balconies here.
The POV is superb!
npecanhuk (75592) 2014-08-11 7:29
Those façades are always a feast for the eyes!
Another beautiful and attractive picture you took of them!
Sharpness, exposure, colors, vertical format, grey & white borders, chosen pov and composition are all excellent!
TFS - congrats,
Enjoy your week,
ifege (10641) 2014-08-11 7:31
stego (24132) 2014-08-11 8:01
Well chosen POV that gave a great compo, with the balconies producing a nice pattern. I suspect if there was any minor perspective distortion it would loose much interest. It is a very accomplished image.
Didi (60588) 2014-08-11 9:32
Very good tight frame on these old architecture
Very good sharp composition
Gerrit (52097) 2014-08-11 11:23
Excellent crop and wonderful colours and texture.
carlo62 (50143) 2014-08-11 13:59
questi terrazzi sono una vera icona, proprio come dici tu e ce ne hai mostrati molti e tutti di ottima fattura.
Bella la luce diffusa che batte sulle facciate, ne hai approfittato nel migliore dei modi.
jjcordier (79297) 2014-08-11 23:35
Très bon cadrage serré sur ces balcons de La Valette. Très bonne composition verticale pour cette excellente photo.
emka (100059) 2014-08-11 23:52
Hello Daniel, The wooden balconies of Valetta are you specialty. Wonderful view from the street. Fantastic architectural details, superb composition.
marvelous pastel colours.
WArm regrads Malgo
krzychu30 (15512) 2014-08-12 0:26
excellent presentation of these famous balconies!
I like your perspective and angle-well considered and executed shot!
Tue (38772) 2014-08-12 2:37
Excellent photo of all the small wooden balconies. The photo is rich in many lovely details and the colours and light are very pleasant. Thanks for sharing.
Cricri (120609) 2014-08-13 11:23
Très belle présentation, un format adéquate pour ces belles façades, détails et couleurs, très jolie
maria-v1981 (10932) 2014-08-14 5:47
A beautiful facades of Valletta. Love the very subtle but rich tone of the colors. Excellent details and texture of the walls with interesting styles. Beautiful work!
Have a nice evening,
jemaflor (98793) 2014-08-19 23:00
Good angle to present these typical balconies of this town, good effect also with colored doors and facades, tfs.
abmdsudi (55208) 2014-08-23 9:43
Balconies in Valletta. Indeed a popular subject for shutter bugs with the traditional balconies featuring a number of common characteristics as evinced by this photograph. Superb crop, brilliant colours and pleasant clarity and love touch of green. Excellent capture and TFS