Boats in the Grand Harbour in Malta

Posted: April 23, 2009 in boat, boating, boats, cruising, sailboats, yacht, yachts
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Grand Harbour, located at the eastern side of the capital city of Valletta, has been a harbour since Roman times. It has several extensive docks and wharves, as well as a cruise liner terminal. A terminal at the Grand Harbour also serves ferries that connect Malta to Pozzallo & Catania in Sicily.

Malta
Sailboats and power boats moored in Dockyard Creek,  at the Grand Harbour in Malta, with the city of Valletta in the background.   foxbar4

The Grand Harbour mouth faces north east and is bounded to the north by St Elmo’s Point and further sheltered by an isolated breakwater and is bounded to the south by Ricasoli Point. Its north west shore is formed by the Scebarras peninsula, which is largely covered by the city of Valletta and its suburb Floriana. This peninsula also divides Grand Harbour from a second parallel natural harbour, Marsamxett Harbour. The main waterway of Grand Harbour continues inland almost to Marsa. The south eastern shore of the harbour is formed by a number of inlets and headlands, principally Rinella Creek, Kalkara Creek, Dockyard Creek, and French Creek, which are covered by Kalkara and the Three Cities: Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea.

With its partner harbour of Marsamxett, Grand Harbour lies at the centre of gently rising ground. Development has grown up all around the twin harbours and up the slopes so that the whole bowl is effectively one large conurbation. Much of Malta’s population lives within a three kilometer radius of Floriana. This is now one of the most densely populated areas in Europe.

Grand Harbour was the base for the Knights of St John for 268 years, and after their departure became a strategic base for the British for a further 170 years. It was the site in the late 16th century of a devastating tornado that killed 600 people and destroyed a shipping armada. The area was the scene of much of the fighting in the First Siege of Malta when the Turks attempted to eject the Knights of St John. The whole area was savagely bombed during the Second Siege of Malta during World War II, as the docks and military installations around the port were legitimate targets for Axis bombers. However collateral damage wrecked much of Valletta and The Three Cities, and caused large numbers of civilian casualties.

The harbours and docks are still active but with the departure of the British Military the harbour lost much of its military significance. A considerable part of Malta’s commercial shipping is now handled by the new free port at Kalafrana, so the harbour is much quieter than it was in the first half of the 20th century.

Malta

Malta

Grand Harbour is located in Malta, a densely populated developed European microstate in the European Union. The island nation of Malta comprises an archipelago of seven islands situated in the Southern European areas of the Mediterranean sea, 93 km off the coast of Sicily (Italy), 288 km east of Tunisia and 300 km north of Libya. The islands enjoy a Mediterranean climate.

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