Qrendi’s Heritage on Foot

The Maltese summer season is popular for the Festas celebrated in each town and village, sometimes more than once in the same season in the same village.  Qrendi is a case in point, where the Festa dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes will be celebrated during this week.  

There are many people, who during this season entertain themselves by visiting each town or village on their festive days.  These feasts are an occasion in which it is possible to walk freely, without any too much effort needed to watch for the passing by traffic.  Thus one can appreciate better the architectural heritage of the town or village in question.  In today’s blog we will be sharing with you a heritage trail which can be explored at Qrendi.

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After parking your car near St. Catherine’s Chapel, off the Qrendi by-pass you can walk into the village through Triq Santa Katarina.  This chapel has a paneled facade and is architecturally interesting for its simplicity.  Just behind the chapel there is a windmill which unfortunately has been surrounded by a large quarry.  About some sixty metres from the chapel and windmill one finds a large public garden which forms part of the series of gardens built by Sir Alexander Ball in the early 19th Century.

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At a stone’s throw away from the garden there is a small vernacular house which has a small open stone balcony.  On the same facade there a number of interesting decorative feature including a coat of arms which at some time, possibly during the French occupation, was hacked.  On the adjacent facade of a modern building there is a relief of a cross carved in stone with the date “1749” on top.

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Triq Santa Katarina ends up in front of another small church, this one dedicated to The Lord Our Saviour.  The church has a broken segmentally headed doorway flanked by two windows which have the date “1876” engraved on them.

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Triq il-Kbira starts from Our Saviour’s church and ends up at Misrah San Mattew.  This street is typical of the Main Streets found in each town and village in Malta since along it one finds the most beautiful and architecturally interesting houses.  These vary from door openings arched with large keystones typical of medieval architecture to Baroque doorways and decorative door lintels.  There are also two elaborate Baroque balconies, one closed in timber and the other is an open stone balcony.  Another interesting feature found on one of the facades along Triq il-Kbira is the muxrabija.

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In the centre of Misraħ San Mattew one finds a free standing stone statue dedicated to the Evangelist after whom the square is named.  As soon as one starts walking into Triq il-Parroċċa one can notice a picturesque alley which is characterised by buttressed facades.  Almost half way along Triq il-Parroċċa, one finds the village parish church built by Lorenzo Gafa’ in the late 17th Century, with a stone statue of Santa Marija on its side.  On the other side of the church there is a building which is the Nationalist Party Club which has a marvelous Baroque composition on its facade, including an open stone balcony and a number of stone carved statues.

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Triq il-Parroċċa terminates in Misraħ Santa Marija where one finds the band club celebrating this week’s feast.  From here one can walk up into Triq San Nikola and turn right into Triq it-Torri.  This street is named after the octagonal tower which is a major landmark of this village.  Triq it-Torri ends up into Triq Santa Katarina by which we can find our way back to my car.

We invite you to share this experience at this week’s festa at Qrendi.

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