New & now
These pics show popular food market Is-Suq tal-Belt as you’ve never seen it before!
It looks completely different now to what it did in the 19th century!

Caroline Curmi

Is-Suq tal-Belt has been around for over 150 years, but it hasn't always looked as we know it today.

Is-Suq tal-Belt as you’ve never seen it before!

Is-Suq tal-Belt Valletta Food Market / Facebook

Prior to having a food market building erected, the site was a square in which torture, public humiliations and executions used to take place. Bit of a gruesome mid-millenium history there, but luckily it morphed into a market area, which became the area's main purpose. Seeing this, the Brits decided to commission a structure to house vendors and amp commerce.

Is-Suq tal-Belt as you’ve never seen it before!

Giulio Zammit via Nostalgia Malta / Facebook

The 158-year old building opened its doors to the public in 1861, after two years of construction. 

Is-Suq tal-Belt as you’ve never seen it before!

Jeremy Wonnacott via Department of Information (Malta) / Facebook

The building was among the many casualties of WWII, and although repairs were initiated almost immediately, the architecture didn't quite match the original designs.

: Is-Suq tal-Belt as you’ve never seen it before!

Chris Mercica via Nostalgia Malta / Facebook

Its standards declined in the post-war years, despite the hustle and bustle surrounding it.

Is-Suq tal-Belt as you’ve never seen it before!

Noel Farrugia via Nostalgia Malta / Facebook

Two levels were added to the structure, and the market atmosphere persevered to some extent into the '70s until it eventually lost its purpose in the '80s.

Is-Suq tal-Belt as you’ve never seen it before!

Maria Micallef via Nostalgia Malta / Facebook

After much public demand, restoration works began in 2016 and were finished two years later. The efforts resuscitated Valletta's market atmosphere, an element which had been missing from the city in the past few decades.

: Is-Suq tal-Belt as you’ve never seen it before!

Francis Cremona / Facebook

That's one evolution process!

21st November 2020


Caroline Curmi
Written by
Caroline Curmi
When she’s not having a quarter-life crisis, Caroline is either drawing in a café, frittering her salary on sushi or swearing at traffic in full-on Gozitan. There is also the occasional daytime drink somewhere in the equation. Or two. A creative must be allowed at least one vice.

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