Have you ever heard of Sliema, Malta? If not, this article will give you all the information you are seeking about this place.
About Sliema, Malta
Sliema is a town in the Republic of Malta which lies on the north-eastern coast.
It consists of a combination of commercial and residential areas which provide among the best dining experiences, great bars, and lots of shopping.
Before we delve deeper into the different aspects related to the tourist attractions in Sliema Malta, let’s give a brief overview of the country itself.
Malta is located in the south of Europe, right next to Italy, Tunisia and Libya.
Malta is one of the World’s smallest countries, but one of the most densely populated! Valletta is the capital city of Malta.
This makes it the smallest national capital in the European Union. Maltese and English are the main languages in Malta.
Sliema’s prehistoric culture was more like Sicani culture, which came from Sicily. They came to the island before 5000BC.
The pottery during that time shows the similarities between Maltese and Sicilian culture.
The ancient religions of Malta are not greatly known, and their temples are not found. But there is proof that they used to sacrifice animals as part of their religion.
Modern culture contains a system of beliefs, and traditions. These patterns have been created through a long process of cross-fertilization. Culture of Malta is somewhat identical to the culture of Latin Europe.
Malta and Gozo have around one church for every 1000 persons. This represents the strong grasp of Catholic Christianity on Maltese culture.
Sliema Malta is a historically rich town, in the period of ‘The Knights of Malta’, this was the place from where, infamously, Dragut, the leader of the Turkish forces, was killed during the Great Siege.
Attractions in Sliema, Malta
There are many interesting things to note about Sliema, Malta. However, we will be looking at the most distinctive features.
Promenade in Sliema, Malta.
The Sliema promenade, which lines the coastline, and provides most Sliema folk with a pleasant jogging track.
Furthermore, it is a good meeting point for the locals. If you are planning to have romantic strolls, Sliema Malta is the ideal place for it!
The beauty of this area is further enhanced by its residents and their activities. The Cafes, restaurants, and Barbeques have made Sliema a social hub.
Some of the other noteworthy features of this area are its hotels, the ever-refreshing water sports and myriads of rocky beaches.
Its name, however, contradicts the very nature of Sliema, as it means ‘Peace’, or ‘Comfort’.
This is because this town was once a quiet fishing village, later on, its population increased. It then developed, and became a popular tourist attraction.
Playground in Sliema, Malta.
In central Sliema, there is a playground, and green space called independence garden. It is situated on the seafront promenade in the heart of Sliema Malta because of its central location.
Most tourists come here after strolling on the promenade to relax. It is also famous because of its sea view.
Tigne Point Sliema, Malta.
Tigné point also known as Dragut point is a peninsula which is very famous among local and foreign tourists.
It was out of shape when the British left and was abandoned for years. It was later restored in the early 21st century.
A number of cannons were stationed at some point in history, but now it has a beautiful view, with tall buildings and a beautiful fort.
Fort Tigné is a fort present in Sliema Malta at Tigné point. For protection against the enemy forces which often invaded at Marsamxett Harbour, its construction started in 1793.
Its construction was ordered by the Order of Saint John. It is among the oldest polygonal forts across the globe.
After the British left Malta, it was in very bad condition, a part of it was vandalized. It was restored in the early 21st century for tourism attraction.
Design is mainly based on the work of Lunette d’Arcon. Circular keep is one of the most noticeable feature of the fort.
Three emplacements were also built for breech-loading guns by the British on the glacis of the fort.
Battery in Sliema, Malta.
Sliema point battery is an artillery battery in the city. It is also called Fort Sliema. British built it in 1876. After sometimes it was used as a searchlight.
Nowadays it has been converted into a restaurant called Fortizza meaning “The Fortress”.
This period is followed by the period of ‘The British’ or ‘The British Era’. At this time, the town was expanded and a church dedicated to ‘Our Lady Star of the Sea’ was inaugurated for the public.
Stella Maris Parish, Sliema Malta
Stella Maris Parish Church is a roman catholic parish located in Sliema. It is a mother church which has been protecting and helping the believers refine their beliefs for centuries.
It is the oldest church in Sliema Malta, whose construction started in 1853. People petitioned the religious authorities for the construction of a bigger church to fulfil their spiritual needs.
In August 1855, this church was open to the public, and the church was enlarged in 1877 and in 1878. During World War II, in March 1942, however, it was damaged because of an airstrike during a German air raid.
Watch Towers in Sliema Malta
The Order of Saint John ordered the construction of the small De Redin watchtowers on the coastline in 1658 and 1659.
During that time, thirteen towers were built, and now, eight of them are still present. These were named after a Spanish knight named Martin de Redin, who suggested the construction of these watchtowers to improve the coastal defence. Sciuta Towers are the base of design of the towers.
There are two neighbouring towers with each tower in its line of view. This was a clever tactic which fostered a system of communication between them where they sent signals from one tower to the other.
Fire signals were used by night and smoke or cannon shots by day. Extra towers, now known as Saint Mark’s Tower and Ghallis Tower, were also built on the island of Gozo.
Palazzo Capua in Sliema Malta
Another point of significance in Sliema Malta is Palazzo Capua. This is a 19th-century neoclassical palace. It is also known as Capua Palace and was built by a banker named Selma Hall. The name Palazzo Capua came from a prince of Capua to whom it came under the possession.
Back then, it was the most spectacular building of Sliema Malta, also has a stunning view of the sea. As time has gone by, it has served a wide variety of purposes. Now it serves as a boutique hotel and a hospital known as Saint James Capua Hospital which was built on its site.
Balluta in Sliema Malta
Our Lady of Mount Caramel, located in Balluta is a focus point in Sliema Malta. Its name was given to it as it is dedicated to the Blessed Mary.
In the late 12th century till the mid-13th century, the first Carmelites who lived on Mount Carmel were Christians. A chapel was built by them in the midst of their heritage which they dedicated to the Blessed Mary as “Lady of the place”. This name was then changed into “ Our lady of Mount Carmel”.
“Our Lady of the Sacred Heart” Parish Church was a church founded in 1877. It is considered a parish church after 1918. It was an initiative of Fr. Paul Vella which started in 1877 and was handed over to Friars Minor province later on.
It was later enlarged in 1930due to the increasing number of believers. It is a properly decorated church with paintings of various saints, as well as the life of Blessed Mary.
This is depicted on the roof through the use of paintings. In 1879, a statue of Our Lady of Sacred Heart was also created.
Modernization Sliema, Malta
The population grew to such an extent that by1878, the church became a separate parish (in the Christian Church, this is a small administrative district, typically having its own church and a priest or pastor).
The town’s development proliferated in the second half of the nineteenth century. This is because it started to attract the wealthier people from the Maltese capital, Valletta.
In fact, it became a recreational spot for the people of nearby cities, who would often visit, consequently improving the economy of this town significantly.
This is when the great villas mentioned previously, were constructed. This was a result which accommodated the wealthier tourist, and this is the same period when the promenade was constructed.
Some of the Victorian buildings near the promenade were also constructed in this era. Other noteworthy developments include the conversion of the farmlands into gardens.
Unfortunately, due to the recent modernization of the town to cater to the increasing population, only a few of the Victorian buildings remain.
Only six traditional Maltese houses still remain and these have been placed under the protection of recent legislation. One of the distinctive features of these houses is the unique balcony.
Historic Refurbishment in Sliema, Malta
Another noteworthy facet of Sliema Malta is Fort Tigne. This was used by the British Military to defend this area.
However, this wasn’t enough, so they built multiple fortifications along the peninsula, namely ‘Sliema Point Battery’, ‘Cambridge Battery’, & ‘Garden Battery’. A barracks was also constructed.
In 1881, the very first seawater distillery was constructed in order to provide the barracks with water. In 1882, this distillery was demolished.
The barracks were occupied by a printing press until 2001, after which it was demolished as it was a hindrance for the Tigne Point Development.
Many of the streets resemble those of the British streets because of this British period.
After the 1990s, this town was subjected to modernization which included the demolition of the notable buildings.
New apartments were constructed. However, the decision to greenlight this construction was subjected to debate.
It was a question of whether or not this should be done due to environmental impacts, as well as other problems that may arise (which were discussed previously).
The decision of whether or not to further destroy the heritage sites in Sliema Malta was also a part of this debate.
Unfortunately, these problems arising in the town are forcing the indigenous youth to move out of this town.
As mentioned above, Sliema Malta is also known for its shopping areas, as well as restaurants, and hotels.
The shopping areas include Tigne point shopping mall and the Ferries. The restaurants and hotels can be found by the promenade.
Some of the most famous and historic landmarks and churches are briefly explained below.
Living in Sliema Malta
Sliema Malta is considered one of the most attractive places to live. This town is relatively rich, and the property prices are high compared with the international average.
With respect to the buildings located there, one can say they have aged well over the years.
Villas and Townhouses are considered a wonder of their time.
Sliema Malta Buildings
Unfortunately, the addition of apartments brought about by the modern age has led to some problems.
The buildings constructed in Sliema Malta are some of the tallest found in the Mediterranean country. Some of the apartments are also still-under-construction, which contributes to noise pollution.
Other problems are traffic blockage, coupled with an inadequate parking area.
The people from this town identify themselves as Slimizi, and their language of choice is English, due to the demographic shifts in the past. This word Sliema was formerly used as a term to honour someone.
Although the origin of this name is not certain, it is said that Sliema got its name from the Chapel of “Our Lady of Good Voyage”.
The evidence pointing to its existence lies within an ancient map by th3e Order of Saint John. Located in Marsamxett Harbour, the sailors and fishermen who hailed from Sliema Malta considered this chapel as their reference point.
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One of the famous questions is Sliema or Bugibba? We recommend Sliema for the above reasons.
As discussed above, the culture of Malta is a reflection of the different societies which used to rule Malta before its independence, as well as Mediterranean cultures. Sliema Malta is certainly no exception.
Coming to Malta? Then read our article about what to expect in the Malta Airport.