Moorish Terrace in Sliema, Malta, by Emmanuele Luigi Galizia

Moorish terrace

A small terrace of late-nineteenth-century Moorish houses by Emmanuele Galizia (1830-1906) in Rudolph Street, Sliema, Malta. As Chief Architect of Malta under the British, Galizia built the dramatic Turkish cemetery at Marsa), 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).

Two more recent views of the Moorish terrace.

Most sources report that the houses that Galizia later built in the fashionable upper part of Sliema consisted of two 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): indeed, Robert Galea-Naudi, names the third house as "Pax." Interestingly, 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).

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). The photograph on the right, kindly provided by Robert Galea-Naudi, great-great-grandson of the architect, and taken by his father in the early 1950s, indicates that there has been little change since then, at least outwardly. That the terrace has survived is thanks to the very active involvement of local heritage enthusiasts.

Photograph at top, captions, commentary and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2010/2017. Photographs in the middle kindly provided by the historian Tony Terribile from his own collection. Last photograph, as explained just above, courtesy of Robert Galea-Naudi. [Click on all the pictures to enlarge them.]


Borg, Victor. "Development of Maltese Architecture." Web. Link updated 5 June 2016.

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, but no longer available.

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

Obituary. Proceedings of ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers). Vol. 169: 385-56.

"Rudolph Street." Sliema Residents' Association site. Web. Viewed 7 April 2010, but no longer available.

Last modified 8 May 2017