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7 gorgeous (& slightly sad) photos of Valletta sites that no longer exist
She was always a stunner!

Jillian Mallia

1. Porta Marina del Mercante Gate

Porta Marina Gate was once found on Ta’ Liesse Hill. During the Knights’ period, it was the easiest way of getting in and out of the city, and the best location for merchants. The British demolished the gate to build Victoria Gate, which still stands today and leads to Sultana's arches, the Lower Barakka, and further on the Sacra Infermeria.

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Vincent Vassallo via Nostalgia Malta / Facebook

2. Sultana’s arches

Sultana’s arches were at the entrance to Valletta before the Victoria Gate became the main entrance. The shops on the side were literally holes in the wall, and are walled in today. They used to sell tobacco and newspapers, though unfortunately, today the area is essentially a ghost town.

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Giorgio Peresso / Facebook

3. City Gate

Interestingly, there have been five variations of Valletta’s City Gate since 1569. The site even had various names to go with each gate: Porta San Giorgio and Porta Reale during the Knights’ period, Porte Nationale during the French occupation, Kingsgate or Kingsway during British rule, and informally by the Maltese as Porta di terra. The last fortified gate was demolished in 2011 and was replaced with the contemporary gate in 2014 that still stands today.

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Ian Vassallo Bonsfield via Nostalgia Malta / Facebook

4. The old bus terminus (& kiosks!)

The bus terminus has been long gone, since restoration works for Triton Square were implemented. Back in the day, Maltese tal-linja (buses) would end the route in Valletta round the Triton Fountain. Nowadays, the bus terminus has been relocated just a few metres away on the side of City Gate.

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Ian Vassallo Bonsfield via Nostalgia Malta / Facebook

5. The fountain in front of the law courts

The fountain was found in front of the Law Courts in Valletta, but was eventually replaced by a monument commemorating the Great Siege, after the fountain was found to be damaging the underlying crypt that is part of the majestic St John's Co-Cathedral.

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Alfred Pace via Valletta Photos / Facebook

6. The Royal Opera House

The Royal Opera House was opened in 1866 under British rule and honestly, it didn’t have the best of luck. In 1873 it was extensively damaged by a fire that broke out, and was eventually restored in 1877. Fast forward 65 years and it received a direct hit from an aerial bombing in 1942, and just like that, it was gone. In 2013, it was rebuilt as an open-air theatre and started functioning as a performance venue once again under the name Pjazza Teatru Rjal.

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Denis Micallef via Valletta Photos / Facebook

Were you lucky enough to visit these spots before they ceased to exist? 

9th January 2019


Jillian Mallia
Written by
Jillian Mallia
A book lover, writer and globetrotter who loves exploring new places and the local gems that the Maltese Islands have to offer. An avid foodie and arts fanatic, Jillian searches the island and beyond for the perfect settings to write about.

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