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
lousat (85018) 2013-12-29 12:59
Hi Daniel,these balconies are a great opportunity,you caught very well this rich facade with a close up rich of details and colors,magnificent shot,i like it! Have a nice week and Happy New Year! Luciano
parvatibb (1387) 2013-12-29 13:21
Not many left but in Turkey we still have this kind of balconies.
Looks very nice with dark and light tones of green together. Nice details.
Wish you a great new year
ourania (38892) 2013-12-29 13:45
a wonderful graphical presentation of this particular architecture associated with Valletta. I love the effect of the well framed repetition of architectural patterns and colours. You used the perspective in a well considered and elegant way. There's a fine sharpness and you managed light and colours most effectively for an intriguing homogeneous view. This picture makes a great illustration to your notes. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely week,
carlo62 (41195) 2013-12-29 14:40
questi balconi sono proprio caratteristici e influiscono molto sulla parte compositiva dei fotografi, è molto bello fotografarli, ma è molto difficile trovare spunti nuovi, idee originalio inquadrature poco viste.
In questo caso te la sei cavata molto bene, lo schema della facciata è bello e ben proposto.
macjake (63154) 2013-12-29 18:21
well, we've got some green this time. First time seeing green on the balconies from your gallery?
nice to have the black or darker green too, just to offset the colors a bit.
nice shot from Malta.
the small open window on the right is a nice touch.
fabbs99 (17129) 2013-12-29 23:21
Hello Daniel ,
Superb shot of the Maltese wooden balconies.Good sharpness and lights .Keep sharing.TFS.
jjcordier (79289) 2013-12-29 23:25
Une nouvelle très bonne photo de ces balcons maltais très bien cadrés.
emka (89301) 2013-12-29 23:53
Hi Daniel Some more Maltese balconies, they are very attractive. Excellent creative presentation.
WArm regrads Malgo
dta (72959) 2013-12-30 0:57
Hello Daniel ,
Excellent cadrage serré de ces superbes balcons dont les couleurs ressortent superbement sur la pierre ocre .
timecapturer (49288) 2013-12-30 2:33
like this crop! It is perfectly detailed and beautifully balanced. The symmetry is just wonderful and the result, attractive and compelling imagery. Excellent!
snunney (92460) 2013-12-30 2:56
I have booked a week's holiday in Malta in June, so I am looking forward to coming back with gems like this. I like the point of view and framing here and the pleasant colour contrasts. Perfectly exposed with superb colours and sharpness.
aleXundar (1256) 2013-12-30 4:49
They are nice looking wooden balconies. Nice colors and a very good crop, just to demonstrate what you mentioned in the note.
Sergiom (70532) 2013-12-30 6:23
J'aime beaucoup ce plan serré sur ces galeries maltaises connues pour leur originalité à travers le monde entier. J'aime la symétrie et l'effet graphique de l'ensemble.
krzychu30 (15510) 2013-12-31 2:43
Valletta at its best!These balconies are truly delightful subject for photographers.
I like your detailed vision of it!Reproduction of details as well as the color scheme are magnificent.
Wish You a Happy New Year!
abmdsudi (48735) 2013-12-31 6:23
Lovely on how the eye is treated to this wonderful patterns-shapes of the balcony. An eye popper shot in delicious colours, good detail and sharp, and the contrast is fantastic. Superb image well captured, TFS
Wishing you the very best for 2014
Kamilutka (8105) 2013-12-31 23:07
nice shot with tight framing and focus on the architecture details. I like how the colors contrast with each other and the balconies create almost geometrical composition.
Pretty light and well managed.
All the best in New Year!
SimoAle (646) 2014-01-04 1:10
che balconi particolari hai catturato.
Buona esposizione e taglio ideale per dare ancora piu' originalità alla composizione.
Ti auguro un felice 2014!
Cricri (113589) 2014-01-05 4:46
Bon cadrage serré de ces petits balcons typiques de la Valette, bonne lumière et couleurs