Marsamxett Zone Regeneration

Project Description

Lower Valletta

The Lower part of Valletta basically extends from the Due Balli area near Fort St. Elmo up to St. Mark Street on the Marsamxett Harbour side of the city. It is an area situated behind a line of fortification constructed in the 1570s by the Order of St John on the design of military engineer Francesco Lapparrelli, as part of the defensive lines that encase the city.

In 2018, the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation was entrusted with a €25 million European-funded regeneration project. This holistic project had to include various objectives from the cultural, social and economical aspects of this particular area.

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The Marsamxett side of Valletta’s fortifications consists of German Curtain, St. Sebastian Curtain, English Curtain and French Curtain.  During World War II, many deep anti-air raid shelters were excavated in the live rock at the base of these walls, in which people sought refuge during the constant bombings.  12.5 square kilometres of fortifications were in dire need of restoration, which works also included the restoration of Jews’ Sally Port. Other than the restoration of these walls, the works include the replacement of all existing pavements and creating around 21M2 of pedestrian walkways, the replanting of Olive trees, Judas trees and Tamarisk trees and a new irrigation system.

  • Pilar Church,
  • the Auberge de Bavière,
  • the House of Catalunya,
  • Auberge d’Aragon,
  • the Carmelite priory
  • the Carmelite Basilica dome

Social Housing projects

A number of old or dilapidated blocks along Fountain Street and St. Joseph Street were demolished in the late 1970s and rebuilt in the 80s.  They were connected to French Curtain by a number of stone bridges which in time became deteriorated and an aesthetic eyesore.  They were replaced by modern metal and timber bridges and which enhance the historical aspect of the area.

marsamxett bridges before marsamxett bridges after

Restoration projects were carried out on :

The residential area known as Fuq il-Blata which overlooks Sliema across the harbour consisted of dwellings with irregular or damaged timber or metal balconies. Below are a number of garages originally built as workshops.  The entire façade of this area was restored, all timber balconies replaced or restored and painted in an attractive colour sequence and the 600M2 of terrace over the garages was repaved.  Later, the entire garages had their façade restored and new doors installed.

As part of a better living scheme, 10 residences were rehabilitated for better living in Carmelite Street and 22 others in other sections of this area, 20 of which also had lifts installed.

A major project on this aspect was the one involving a dilapidated old building at West Street corner to St.Christopher street. The façade was completely restored while the inside was totally rebuilt in order to provide housing units for independent living elderly people, complemented with all accessible features.

The housing blocks surrounding Mattia Preti square, housing some 160 apartments are currently having their facades and common parts upgraded and new windows and balconies being installed using energy saving materials, as well as lifts and other services.

As part of this work, 1600M2 will also be pedestrianized, including the upgrading of all underground services, new paving and street embellishments. Marsamxett Landing sees the crossing from Sliema to Valletta by ferry of many tourists and locals alike.  As part of the Marsamxett Regeneration Project, in the coming months works will commence to give this area newly regenerated shoreline services also with a vertical access facility for the use of those coming in by sea from other parts of Marsamxetto Port or other parts of the island.