The Clock Tower of
The Clock Tower was built in 1895 and remained in use until April 2016, when it finally raised the white flag in defiance of the passage of time. The government handed over the four-sided tower to Mtarfa local council in 2010.
The Local Council coordinated the restoration of the Clock Tower, which included replacing lighting, cleaning the stone, calibrating the clock mechanism, repairing the damaged stairway, and stripping rust from the railing and staircase leading to the roof.
This investment gains historical and cultural significance, and former military sites are a significant draw for the thousands of tourists, particularly British holidaymakers and veterans, who visit our islands.
The restoration of the four clock dials was the most difficult task, for which the Local Council sought assistance from the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. All dials were meticulously removed, micro-blasted, hammered as needed, repainted, and reinstalled.
The British in Mtarfa
After the British forces had developed the harbour area, the time had come to develop other areas, primarily in the countryside. As a result, the British military authorities chose Mtarfa, a hill that was practically uninhabited until the end of the nineteenth century, for development.
The increased military presence in Malta necessitated the addition of housing for soldiers and their families. This was the reason for the construction of barracks in Mtarfa. A military hospital was also built to serve the soldiers’ needs. More barracks were built to accommodate the growing number of personnel.
A large hospital known as the Sir David Bruce hospital was built at the beginning of the twentieth century, named after the medical doctor who identified the bacteria that led to the discovery of the infamous Mediterranean Fever.
This British heritage can still be seen in the street names, with sculptured stone pillars bearing the actual names still standing in and around Mtarfa, as well as coats of arms and marble tablets commemorating the inauguration of various buildings. The most notable structure, however, is the clock tower, which was built in 1895 and remains an iconic landmark on the Mtarfa hilltop.
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