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.
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timecapturer (49288) 2013-11-16 2:28
if one thing really sticks in my mind about Valletta, it was these beautiful old balconies. This shot captures them perfectly and with the least amount of 21st century adornments. Super sharp and a glorious perspective. Quality imagery!
Enjoy your weekend - B.
krzychu30 (15512) 2013-11-16 2:59
Valletta from its most beautiful side-these balconies are so lovely.
I like your perspective and tight frame enhancing so nicely the whole beauty of these wooden balconies.
Superb shot in your style!
Have a nice weekend
Sergiom (88355) 2013-11-16 4:47
J'aimerais vraiment voir cette rue des mes yeux. Ces galeries sont vraiment extraordinaires et très originales. Une belle manière d'augmenter l'espace d'un appartement. Le cadrage vertical est très avantageux.
adramad (49556) 2013-11-16 13:02
Very nice composition, with this close up shot that shows the charm of these balconies and their varied shapes and textures.
A perfect colorful natural.
A very bright image with optimum clarity.
Enjoy the weekend.
mkamionka (39947) 2013-11-16 13:39
very impressive collection of Maltese balconies. Great composition here with fantastic geometry and the repeated motif of the balcony although they are all different. The upper ones have a nice reflection of the blue sky.
Very well seen and captured,
lousat (97605) 2013-11-16 15:20
Hi Daniel,the maltese facades inspired you as i can see another time,and another time the result is really fantastic,what a perspective,crop and quality,very well done!!Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano
jjcordier (79297) 2013-11-16 23:07
Une nouvelle belle photo de ces balcons spectaculaires que ton bon cadrage met bien en vedette.
jemaflor (103135) 2013-11-16 23:33
Good pov on these traditionnal balconies in Malta, light, sharpness and colors are perfect, tfs, a pleasant memory for me.
emka (106804) 2013-11-16 23:40
These closed balconies are really wonderful. excellent side view of the row of them. The windows reflecting the blue sky are eye catching.
Warm regrads Malgo
marabu61 (11279) 2013-11-17 3:37
An other fine example of the beautiful architecture of Valetta, bathed in a very pleasing light. Those well protected old balconies make for sure a very attractive little corner in the apartments to while away a few hours.
have a great sunday
jhm (160057) 2013-11-17 3:50
Not alone the wood balconies are lovely but also the wood construction of the walls of the facades.
Nice depth and perspective picture.
Wonderful picture with pleasant colours.
Excellent composition, nice presentation.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice Sunday,
chrislo (4097) 2013-11-17 4:20
Nice architectural shot, and very good composition too. You did a fine job spotting the architectural graphism of these balconies. I like a lot the pattern of lines and angles as well as your chosen point of view and focal lens, compressing the perspective. The faithful colours and fine details make this one a really superb shot. Well seen and captured.
SnapRJW (31629) 2013-11-17 7:13
Fabulous detailing in this composition Daniel, the blue reflections add the necessary colour contrast and add to the success of the shot. Warm regards Rosemary
dta (82418) 2013-11-17 7:46
hello Daniel ,
A classical "dkmurphyss" ! Not a strong light here , but very well managed . And these wooden balconies are really beautiful .
Silvio1953 (153031) 2013-11-17 11:02
Ciao Daniel, great perspective on lovely facade, wonderful pastel colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
Oceania (5202) 2013-11-18 6:25
These wooden balconies are one by one orderly. I like your POV a lot. Some window glasses reflect the blue sky. we do not see this kind of picture often. Thanks for showing us.
Have a nice week.
Cricri (125904) 2013-11-22 6:07
Un bon cadrage et format de ces façades avec leurs balcons typiques des rues de la Valette
bonne lumière et couleurs
macjake (72593) 2013-11-24 10:26
again, the balconies.
always enjoy these views.
its a good choice to basically cut out all the skyline here, focusing just on the architecture itself.
the wires, the blue light on the windows...all very cool and natural.
excellent photo from Malta
tatadalou (7459) 2013-12-12 22:11
Nice picture and very instructive note. Your series of closeups on Valletta façades gives beautiful details of this traditional architecture. Here, the number of wooden balconies, the elecric lines and air conditioning system looks quite anarchical, and maybe I would have cropped the sky and proposed a square framing to strengthens this impression. Great quality again in this shot.