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View from the Gardjola Gardens (Valletta in the background)

Grandmaster De La Sengle planned the Gardjola Gardens in Senglea on a grid pattern in 1551.
The gardens hold the panoramic view that includes the docks in Marsa, Valletta, the entrance to the Grand Harbour and Fort St. Angelo. The sentry box placed on the tip of the bastion, ‘il-gardjola’, epitomises the role of the fortifications around the harbour.
On the sentry box there are sculptured various symbols of watchfulness, namely the eye, the ear, and the crane bird. The inscription in Latin assures the inhabitants of the harbour area to rest at ease, as the tower stands guard against any hostile force that may attempt to approach Maltese shores.

Senglea

This small city, one of the so-called Three Cities , stands on a narrow promontory jutting into Grand Harbour. The land was fortified in 1551 by Grand Master Claude de la Sengle. The Maltese often use the area's earlier name, L-Isla, meaning the island or perhaps short for `peninsula'. During the Great Siege of 1565, Senglea was protected by Fort St Michael on its landward side and by Fort St Angelo on the tip of Vittoriosa across the creek. The heroic role played by its people led Grand Master Jean de la Valette to give the city the title of Citta' Invicta, the invincible city. Like its sister cities, Senglea suffered heavy damage during World War II. More than 75 percent of its buildings were destroyed. The parish church dedicated to the Nativity of the Madonna was rebuilt and retains its artistic heritage. The city is noted for its superb harbour views across to Valletta from Safe Haven Gardens at Senglea Point. The stone vedette, known as il-Gardjola, on the bastion-point served as a look-out post to guard the harbour entrance. The sculptured eye and ear above its windows are symbols of vigilance.

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)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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