Grand Harbour (in Maltese: Il-Port il-Kbir) is a natural harbour on the island of Malta. It has been used as a harbour since at least Phoenician times. 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 Point and 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 Valletta and 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 Kalkara and 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 John for 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 port were legitimate targets for Axis bombers. However collateral damage wrecked 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 Military the harbour lost much of its military significance. A considerable part of Malta's commercial shipping is now handled by the new free port at Kalafrana, so the harbour is much quieter than it was in the first half of the 20th century.
Valletta (in the background)
Valletta, The Fortress City, Citta' Umilissima, “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen” is Malta's capital city: a living, working city, the administrative and commercial heart of the Islands. Valletta is named after its founder, the respected Grand Master of the Order of St John, Jean Parisot de la Valette. The magnificent fortress city grew on the arid rock of Mount Sceberras peninsula, which rises steeply from two deep harbours, Marsamxett and Grand Harbour. Started in 1566, Valletta was completed, with its impressive bastions, forts and cathedral, in the astonishingly short time of 15 years.
Valletta has many titles, all recalling its rich historical past. It is the “modern” city built by the Knights of St John; a masterpiece of the Baroque; a European Art City and a World Heritage City. Ruled successively by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Order of the Knights of St John, it is one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
The city is busy by day, yet retains a timeless atmosphere. The grid of narrow streets boasts some of Europe's finest art works, churches and palaces.
Hosting a vast cultural programme, walking around Valletta you’ll come across an intriguing historical site around every corner: votive statues, niches, fountains and coats of arms high up on parapets. Narrow side streets are full of tiny quaint shops and cafés, while Valletta’s main streets are lined with larger international branded shops for fashion, music, jewellery and much more. (Source: visitmalta.com)
Critiques | Translate
kiasari (62) 2010-10-05 2:53
Well managed POV and framing. I like the blue color of the sea. Well done!
ikeharel (44321) 2010-10-05 3:09
15 stories I counted on this giant crus-ship, a very impressive vessel, George.
Amazing how the navigators place it alond the pier...
Good pov over the old town's walls.
snunney (73032) 2010-10-05 3:11
A fine composition where the massive cruise ship makes an interesting comparison with the row boat in the foreground. The image has an agreeable layered effect and is well balanced. Good colours and sharpness.
mursaloglu (8047) 2010-10-05 3:31
You captured wonderful the harbour mood here and amazing colors makes this picture more attractive. The boat in the foreground is a great point of interest for the rest of picture. Bravo ihsan
TopGeo (38080) 2010-10-05 4:35
Hi George A very nice view of the city with "little port". I like the beautiful "cruise-ship" and the good lights here. The clarity is superb.,
jhm (128287) 2010-10-05 4:49
A fine composition where the massive cruise ship, this against the small boat in foreground, David and Goliath.
Nice depth and perspective, good daily life scene.
Very well done, TFS.
Greg1949 (9011) 2010-10-05 4:59
George, what a beautiful and at the same time terrible photo. I love Malta and was there a long long time ago but I HATE these cruise ships, it is like an assault where ever they dock or anchor.
Great shot as you know.
amaryllis (32077) 2010-10-05 5:28
une très belle composition qui nous montre bien l'importance de ce bateau croisière dans le port et qui occupe toute la place
un beau premier plan avec ce petit bateau et cette petite tour à gauche du gros bateau
un beau cadrage
JFS (32455) 2010-10-05 5:52
Impressive shot, the vessel is bigger than the port! Special moment well captured by you. TFS
dkmurphys (42699) 2010-10-05 6:06
Well seen moment, a big ship in the port. Very impressive scene.
Egy jó nap.
Sergiom (45842) 2010-10-05 6:16
Le bateau est presque plus gros que la ville et le port semble bien petit pour l'acceuillir. On est loin des touristes au sac à dos.
Guenther (10909) 2010-10-05 8:00
the dimension of the cruiser is quite impressive especially compared with the fort and the small boats... Very good compostion and well chosen POV.
John_F_Kennedy (41526) 2010-10-05 8:25
a nice view to the majestic cruise ship. The view is very impressive, a nice shot
macjake (45832) 2010-10-05 9:04
i had to laugh when i looked at this, as i was thinking the large Cruise ship looks like its trying to sneak up quietly hiding around the corner! looks funny :)
the small boat in the FG is what makes this photo work so well, it adds charm and a classic romantic feel.
npecanhuk (56450) 2010-10-05 9:33
Very attractive picture, specially for its composition where you put the big cruiser and the small boat together in a very smart and beautiful way!
Sharpness, exposure, pov, colors, pp, contrasts, horizontal & rectangular & panoramical format and black & white borders are all excellent too!
TFS - congrats,
jlbrthnn (79789) 2010-10-05 10:40
Good evening George,
This boat is a monster, and makes pass historical architecture in the second plan. There is an interesting contrast with this other boat of trotts foreground, so frail. It is well seen. Cheer.
Have a good evening
bobocortis (15918) 2010-10-05 10:44
The huge ship and the tiny boat share the screen.
Nice composition, beautiful mediterranean atmosphere.
vasilpro (40565) 2010-10-05 12:31
A giant cruise ship taller than the buildings, interesting scene, excellent light management, lovely colors, beautiful atmosphere, very nice POV, TFS!
Have a nice evening, Vasilis.
jjcordier (67562) 2010-10-05 12:51
Il va boucher l'entrée du port ce géant des mers!Une prise réalisée au bon moment, bien vu!
Ilducabianco (940) 2010-10-05 12:52
The huge silhouette of cruise liner as regards the entrance to the harbour just should to be worth of a good photo, then the composition does the remainder.
batalay (33465) 2010-10-05 20:29
What an unusual and powerful shot of one of the colossal new cruise liners (approximately 4,000-5,000 passengers) docked in (or sailing out of) Valetta's harbor. On August 25 I sailed out of Veniceon the elegant Crystal Serenity that holds up to 1000 passengers. I wish someone had been around to photograph the ship. Your note is highly informative, thank you.
kordinator (14797) 2010-10-06 0:45
This is very interesting landscape.
A fine captured the massive cruise ship.
Fine light managment.
A great chosen POV to lead into the scene.
Excellent compositio and presentation.
Perfect framed image.
mauro61 (52545) 2010-10-06 1:43
strepitoso l'effetto con la nave che sembra uscire dalle mura della città.
ottima la composizione con l'azzurro del mare e la barca in FG,
un caro saluto
ifege (9913) 2010-10-06 2:21
Some of these cruise ships manage to dwarf the land around George. I'm still not sure why enough people like them for them to be profitable....but... everyone to their own.
Quite spectacular and good colour.
Cretense (68671) 2010-10-06 4:03
Very impressive and very original photo, fantastic scene! Perfectly composed and framed, all the elements are in the right position! flawless light management, wonderful colours!
JCG (35129) 2010-10-06 4:50
Enormous contrast between this small boat and this big boat of cruising. Beautiful photograph on this harbour, I like much this panoramic format which gives a good dynamic to this balanced image. The natural and soft colors are pleasant. Well seen George.
With all my friendships and a very good day,
jemaflor (74340) 2010-10-06 10:57
Impressive big criuse ship, the harbour seems tiny on your view, interesting contrast and also with the small luzzu on the right side, nice blue water too.
Maximo (230) 2010-10-07 3:06
Nice shot! I like the frame and the colours! Well done!1
Bluejeans (64243) 2010-10-09 1:47
Ola George ,
Que contraste de moderno e antigo com este gigante dos mares e a cidade antiga de fundo , bons detalhes, boa luz , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
Bom fim de semana
mikolaj_kawa (0) 2010-10-10 2:31
Hello George! Amazing composition: fortress, ship, boat. Nice brightness and colours. Good exposure, ideal focus. Well done!
Didi (51415) 2010-10-10 4:39
Very imposant ship who gives an interesting contrast with the old harbour, very nice composition.
Royaldevon (21661) 2010-10-11 10:41
Wow, this composition really shows the magnitude of the liner, by comparison with the other boat and the harbour walls.
The two vessels, at opposing corners of the frame, are both well positioned and give a pleasing sense of balance.
My warmest regards,
COSTANTINO (44305) 2010-10-11 10:57
thanks for your useful notes to Grand Harbour
well managed pov and framing
a pleasant postcard
asajernigan (19669) 2010-10-12 18:45
The giant cruise ship proivdes fine contrast for the old buildings and fortress. Your composition is great with the fort and city framing the ship while the small boat in the foreground adds depth for the shot. The lighting and colors are fine as is the photo's sharpness.
Leconte (5795) 2010-10-13 1:49
impressive sight of this great port, beautiful architectural detail of the turret which is detached from the blue sky, beautiful contrast to this big boat
izmirli (3864) 2010-10-13 23:22
goodmorning my friend george
how are you?
wonderful picture and colours.well done.
serp2000 (33405) 2010-10-18 6:45
Good capture of bluse sky, blue ship and blue sea in this place in this time.
Have a good week too!
mauarg (1758) 2010-10-19 10:06
It´s amazing how the ship is taller than the buildings nearby ! Perfect shot !
- Copyright: George Rumpler (Budapestman) (82620)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2010-07-14
- Categories: Castles, Daily Life, Nature, Transportation, Architecture
- Camera: Pentax K10D
- Exposure: f/9.5, 1/250 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2010-10-05 2:47