The Malta Independent 14 November 2018, Wednesday

St Ignatius Villa, Balluta and its heritage significance

Sunday, 31 December 2017, 12:00 Last update: about 12 months ago

The first of Din l-Art Helwa's cultural presentations for 2018 will be dedicated to the historic Villa St Ignatius in Balluta.

Architect Edward Said, who specialises in heritage buildings, will provide his audience with an understanding of the historic and architectural value of this iconic building which truly is steeped in history.

In the first decades of the 19th century, what is today bustling Balluta Bay was then a remote, idyllic cove. Fields and quiet country lanes met the coastline, at that point in time fortified by the entrenchment built during the reign of Grand Master Pinto, and dominating this landscape was a fine country villa called Bel-Vedere.

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Apart from its architectural attributes, this building would, over the next century, accommodate various uses which today are considered to be of great historic interest, most notably as a Jesuit College. Along the way, most of the once-enchanting gardens that complimented this estate were lost to development, yet the mansion known today as St Ignatius Villa still stands, although somewhat obscured from sight.

In the light of recent threats to its preservation, a study was commissioned by Din l-Art Helwa to establish the heritage value of the villa in an urgent bid to encourage the local authorities to have it listed as a scheduled building. The presentation by Edward Said will take place on Thursday, 11 January, at 6.30pm in the Judge Caruana Curran Hall at 133 Melita Street, Valletta. Admission is free of charge but a donation towards the restoration programmes of Din l-Art Helwa will be much appreciated

 


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