Gozo
Did you know that locals still use this spring in Gozo to do their laundry?
Fontana’s L-Ghajn tal-Hasselin is still used to this day.

Sarah Micallef

While we all know that life on Malta’s sleepy sister isle travels at a slower pace than on the mainland, it may come as a surprise that some Gozitans still wash clothes in this traditional way – it certainly surprised us!

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In the sixteenth century, in the small village of Fontana in Gozo, arched shelters were built using an ancient irrigation system made up of stone gutters, which draw water from a spring situated in the part of the valley. The residents of Fontana, which, back then, mainly comprised of farmers, hunters and fishermen, would use the spring to wash their clothes.

The picturesque L-Ghajn tal-Hasselin has since become quite the tourist attraction, drawing visitors to delight in the old washhouse, and the simple way of life of times gone by.

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But for some locals, that time is still very much the present. While it’s not a sight you see every day, every now and then, you can still see locals doing their laundry at the spring, and this photo posted to a local Facebook Group showcases this rare sight.

fontana

Zita Gellért via MALTA / Facebook

The older woman is seen bathing her laundry in a basin, which is positioned below the gushing spring water. Another woman stands in the background, soaping up her own laundry, and with what looks like a canine helper between them, it looks like a still from an old movie.

May these old traditions never die!

7th November 2019


Sarah Micallef
Written by
Sarah Micallef
A keen traveller with an interest in most things, Sarah loves her island home as much as she loves getting away from it, and enjoys discovering and re-discovering the gems, hidden corners and unique stories of her native Malta and Gozo.

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