Category Archives: Malta Attractions

Where to Go in Malta – The Barrakka Lift in Valletta

History of Malta
Macartney, McElroy & Co. Ltd., an engineering company specializing in electric tramway systems, constructed the Upper Barrakka Gardens lift, which opened in September 1905.
Macartney, McElroy & Co. Ltd. also laid down tramlines in Malta in 1904. The tramlines linked the Three Cities and Rabat to Valletta, via Floriana, Hamrun, Birkirkara, Attard and Zebbug.
John Francis Macartney died on the 15th February 1913, aged 44 years. He had been the principal shareholder and managing director of Macartney, McElroy & Co. Ltd. This company designed and constructed the Malta Electric Tramway system in 1904, followed by the Barrakka Electric Lift. Upon his death, the management of the company passed to his son J.F. Macartney. Apart from Malta, the company ran tramways in more than twenty British cities, as well as North and South America and South Africa.
Opened to the public in September 1905, at a cost of £5,000, the Barrakka lift connected Lascaris Wharf (Old Customs House) with Upper Barrakka Gardens offering a shorter and quicker route.
The lift incorporated two cabins each capable of carrying 12 passengers. It rose through 75 tonnes of steelwork vertically 167feet 7inches, with the winding gear housed in a turret even higher at 197feet (60m), to a lateral bridge, extending some 23feet out from the bastion gardens.
Other than a shutdown from October 1917 to June 1919, due to unavailability of spares and coal to generate electricity, the lift would see daily use until 9pm on 2nd February 1973. However, following the
privatisation of the dockyard in 1958 along with the withdrawal of British servicemen in the 1960s, its main source of income, revenue, was insufficient to meet the wages of the six employees and the closure became inevitable.
Malta Attractions
Efforts by the Government to find a company to run yet another Maltese unique and historic transport system were unsuccessful and after lying idle for ten years the lift was dismantled in August 1983. In March 2009 the government submitted a planning application for the construction of the lift. The full development permit was granted in September 2010. The €2.5 million project, mostly funded by the EU, brings back a century-old link between Valletta and Grand Harbour.
The 58m high lift has two passenger cabins with a total capacity of 21 passengers and is able to carry up to 800 people per hour. Its concrete structure is covered with a honey-coloured aluminium mesh to blend in with the fortifications which have been restored.
In order to safeguard the newly-restored bastions, the lift is freestanding so as not to damage the fortifications.

For more information on Things to do in Malta during your holidays contact the dedicated team at one of the Luxury Malta Hotels and they will assist you in having enjoyable short breaks in Malta.

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Malta Attractions – Walking Trails

Malta’s central position in the Mediterranean has made the Island a hub of history – from the landing of St Paul; through the times of the Knights of St John; to the modern epic of Gallant Malta.
A cultural mix makes Malta unique. Its language is based on Arabic, but English is widely spoken. There is a rich variety of country walking allowing visitors and locals alike to explore the Maltese Islands’ landscape of small ridges and valleys, seamed by tracks among stone walls and little farmsteads as well as lovely panoramic coastal paths. There are a number of attractive country walks in Malta. The ideal period for walks is autumn to spring as the weather would not be as hot and the countryside turns into a green paradise with blossoming wild flowers.
Gozo is greener, without the bustle of large towns. With some great walking across irrigated farmland, steep valleys, terraced fields and table-top hills, there is no better way of discovering the best the island has to offer. Through walking tours you may explore the hidden and secluded areas around the island and discover stunning views and hidden valleys. You may come across wayside chapels and old forts as well as villages that have remained practically untouched where elderly men and women still work the fields. There are also many historical and archaeological sites with breathtaking views.
If you are planning your next Malta holidays the Chauffuer Driven Service at this superior Malta Hotel can assist you with your Malta Walking Tours.
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