Small terrace of Moorish housing in Sliema, Malta, by Emmanuel Luigi Galizia
Small terrace of Moorish housing in Sliema, Malta, by Emmanuel Luigi Galizia

Part of a small terrace of late-nineteenth-century Moorish houses by Emmanuel Galizia (1830-1906) in Rudolph Street, Sliema, Malta. [Close-up of one-storey structure] Both photographs from the collection of the historian Tony Terribile, and kindly provided by him. Caption and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2010.

As Chief Architect of Malta under the British, Galizia built the dramatic Turkish cemetery at Marsa (an old picture postcard of which can be seen offsite here), which was funded by the Sultan of Turkey, and for which he was made a member of the Order of Medjidie, awarded for distinguished services. This work was completed in 1874 ("Malta Family History"). He was also exposed to different influences on his travels. For example, later in the 1870s he was sent on two missions to Cyprus, with a special view to the practicalities of establishing a Maltese settlement there, during a time when many Maltese were emigrating from their overcrowded main island (see Obituary). Most sources report that the small complex of houses that he later built in the fashionable upper part of Sliema consisted of two houses at 104 and 106 Rudolph Street, named Alcazar and Alhmabra, the latter for his own summer residence, the former for the use of Giuseppe Cali (1849-1930), an important Maltese artist of Neapolitan parentage. Another source reports that there were three Moorish houses (Borg). However, the Sliema Residents' Association refers to four houses which he built "round about the end of the nineteenth century." These consist of two which "are two floors high with wooden gallarias with Persian blinds covering their windows" and another two which are "one floor high with an oriental style which is very similar to that of the Turkish cemetery" ("Rudolph Street"). Such discrepancies may have arisen because of co-ownership over the years (see Galizia), or because distinctions are being made on stylistic grounds. At any rate, these houses with their intricate stone carving and middle-eastern flavour are very striking, and are said to be "the only examples of their kind in Malta" (Borg).

References

Borg, Victor. "Development & Manifestations of Maltese Architecture." Web. Viewed 7 April 2010.

Galizia, Helen Caruana. "Saving Alhambra." Times of Malta, 18 August 2009 (an appeal by a well-known descendant of Galizia). Web. Viewed 7 April 2010.

"Malta Family History." Web. Viewed 7 April 2010.

Obituary (available here). Proceedings of ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers). Vol. 169: 385-56. Web. Viewed 7 April 2010.

Rudolph Street. Sliema Residents' Association site. Web. Viewed 7 April 2010.

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Last modified 7 April 2010