The Upper Barrakka Lift

Project Description

The original Upper Barrakka Lift was one of two proposed as a vertical transport with the introduction of the tramway in Malta, was completed in September 1905 and launched in the following December. The cost was £5,000.

The lift was 200feet high and its total weight was some 75 tons. Each cabin carried twelve passengers.

Service continued with a short stop during the First World War, but eventually operated at a loss due to the decrease of merchant shipping, ships of the Royal Navy and sea transit until the service ceased operations on 1 February 1973 and finally dismantled in 1983.

In 2004 a plan was made to construct a new lift particularly with the increase of the cruise liner industry and the proposed re-introduction of harbour ferries. The project was entrusted to the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation (GHRC) and estimated to cost around €2 million, partially financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

The new vertical transport was inaugurated on 15 December 2012, stands at 58 m 190 ft and it consists of a towering concrete structure surrounded by an aluminium mesh. Its two cabins which can carry up to 21 passengers each and each journey takes approximately 23 seconds. There is also a flight of stairs from the Barrakka to the floor of the ditch below.