Attard: The Village of Villas and Gardens

Attard is one of the three villages in the centre of Malta.  The urban composition of this small village is characterised by the number of elegant villas and beautiful gardens pertaining to different eras of our history.

We will start our virtual tour from Triq il-Mithna.  The vernacular architecture dominates the streetscape of this part of Attard with open ballustraded, well proportioned, balconies featuring on a number of facades.  At the corner between Triq il-Mithna and Triq San Duminku one finds a symmetrical facade with a central street shrine portraying St. Domenic, the saint after which is the street named.  Few metres away on the same side of the road, a visually heavy wall juts out from the road alignment.  This heavy buttress wall, which supports an arched millroom inside, gives a rural taste to this part of the village taking us back in time before the wealthier part of the Maltese society moved into the village of Attard to build their large villas.

An alley on one side of Triq San Duminku leads to a small 18th Century church dedicated to St. Anne.  But the most interesting architectural feature along this street, which surely adds elegance to the urban qualities of this village, is a bridge which crosses the road and joins a villa on Triq il-Mosta to its garden on Triq San Duminku.

On the widest part of Triq il-Mosta one finds a wide fronted small Baroque palace having a paneled facade on the ground floor and a protruding main entrance crowned by a wide open ballustraded stone balcony.  From Triq il-Mosta one can get a glimpse of the main parish and along each side a series of beautiful facades of large 18th and 19th Century houses with baroque doorways and balconies.

From the narrowness of Triq il-Mosta we arrive in front of the main parish church attributed to the Maltese architect Tomaso Dingli and built in the early 17th Century.  The church Renaissance facade is characterised by the series of six stone statues and its main door.  The church has one bell tower on its side.  The side doors are also decorated with sculptured patterns.

On the southern side of the church in Misrah il-Knisja a large wide fronted facade dominates the scene.  The building which dates back to the late 17th Century has its protruding Baroque doorway very similar to that of a large house we already saw in Triq il-Mosta.

 

As was the case with the previous virtual tours we took in other Maltese villages, Triq il-Kbira and its environs in Attard are considered as the gem of the village’s architecture.  Even more recent town houses were designed in very good taste.  Villa Barbaro a single storey, wide fronted, house has its facade broken into several bays, each having different architectural compositions.

Just in front of Villa Barbaro, Triq il-Kbira joins with Triq il-Belt Valletta.  Along this street one finds another series of beautiful houses dating back to different eras.  The one right in front of the police station has a symmetrical elevation and dates back to the 18th Century, as is Casa Bruno some metres down the road.  On the other hand, Villa Caruana Gatto which is on the opposite side of the road is a 19th Century villa.

If we continue our walk along Triq il-Kbira, the road forks out into Triq il-Mithna and Triq San Anton.  This junction is marked by narrow, single storey, symmetrical facade with a central arched entrance flanked by a pair of double columns (24).  At the back of this building on Triq Sant Anton a Baroque arrangement bounds the entrance into a private garden (25). In front of this garden another large house – Casa Bonavita (26).

From the narrow streets of the central core of Attard, we walk into the more modern, although still architecturally interesting parts of this beautiful village.  The first building of interest is a very unique villa, which has been converted into a home for the elderly.  Villa Roseville is in pure Art-Nouveau style.  Even the railings details and the stone decoration have been considered profoundly in the design.

In front of this villa one finds a very large villa surrounded by extensive gardens.  The boundary wall along the street of this property extends for over 200 metres along Triq Sant Anton and is articulated by a series of three large gateways.  These high walls screen behind them Villa Bologna.  Further up the road on the same side and forming part of the same complex there is a tower like building with the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul on its first floor facade.  Next to it a skillfully constructed high rubble garden wall.

On the other side of the road a series of late 19th Century and early 20th Century villas prettify the street scene before one arrives at the back side of Sant Anton Palace.  In front of the Sant Anton Palace back facade, one finds a face sculptured in stone on an arched entrance with a date “1606” engraved on the keystone.

 

We end up our tour for today by a series of pictures portraying the amazing back facade of of St Anton Palace on the way out from Attard into Balzan.

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