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Did you know? A mighty Magisterial Palace once stood on top of this cave in Senglea
The war destroyed the Palace but the cave survived!

Emma Galea

When exploring Senglea, you might want to visit this cave that has a mermaid sculpted within its walls.

Although it might seem like a charming fun cave a huge Magisterial Palace once stood on top it.

It was first a villa known as Villa Serena, an appropriate name as serena means mermaid in Maltese. However, in 1590 it was passed on to Knights of St John, eventually becoming a Magisterial Palace.  

By the time of the British in Malta, the palace became known as Villa Davies and was mostly used as a form of theatre.

Unfortunately, this building, which was once the largest house in all of Senglea was completely destroyed during the air raids of World War II.

Nonetheless, the cave survived.

You might be wondering why there is a mermaid sculpted in the cave. While there isn’t one definite answer, there is a haunting legend attached to the story.

The legend says that a mermaid found shelter after she was hiding from a storm in the cave but it turns out she was cursed and if anyone touched her lips she would turn into stone. She eventually befriended a local fisherman but when he tried to kiss her, she turned to stone and her stone self remains there to this very day.

Have you ever had the chance to visit?

16th February 2024


Emma Galea
Written by
Emma Galea
Emma is a Gozitan writer who loves all things related to English literature and history. When not busy studying or writing you will either find her immersed in a fictional book or at the cinema trying to watch as many films as she possibly can!

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