The Malta Independent 23 February 2019, Saturday

Landmark buildings given high protection status

Tuesday, 17 July 2018, 09:35 Last update: about 8 months ago

Landmark buildings given high protection status

A number of landmark buildings in Sliema and Gzira have been a given a high protection status by the Planning Authority for their architecture and heritage value.  Some of the landmark buildings include the St Patrick's Salesian School, the ex-Savoy Hotel, the original Imperial Hotel in Sliema and the existing polyclinic building and ex-water and sewer pumping station in Gzira. 


The highest level of protection that of Grade 1, was given to the neo-gothic building which served as the water and sewer pumping station in Gzira and the buffer zone area around the structures, known to locals as Il-Fortizza and It-Torri in Sliema. Both the Fort and the Tower had been scheduled in 1995.

The Authority also scheduled, as Grade 2 buildings, three cluster of houses in Triq Stella Maris and Triq il-Madonna tas-Sacro Cuor in Sliema. Other residences which received the same protection status include Lancaster House in Triq il-Lunzjata corner with Triq Castelletti and Villa d'Argens in Triq Cuschieri.

Two authentic and rare grocery stores in Sliema, Victory Store and Colonial Grocery were also given Grade 2 protection. These two retail properties carry a historical social significance and aesthetic/architectural value.

Palazzo Capua, a 19th century neo-classical building which at the height of its grandeur included extensive gardens, typical of such stately home was also protected as a Grade 2 building.  This Palazzo for a time served as the residence of the Prince of Capua (1811 -1862) and his wife Penelope Caroline Smyth while in exile.     

The facades' of the ex-Sliema telephone exchange and those of a homogenous set of properties in Triq Tigne' corner with Triq Sant' Antnin were also protected.

Over the past months the Authority issued a heritage protection status for over 80 properties in Sliema and Gzira. The full list of properties which have been scheduled may be viewed at        


Water and Sewer Pumping Station, Gzira

The Neo-Gothic building served as the Water and Sewer Pumping Station for the North Harbour towns. It was designed by Prof Giorgio C Schinas together with the Royal Engineer Captain T J Tressider. The building, which resembles a stately home rather than a utilitarian civic site carries a gothic revival style which was popular at the time, particularly in Sliema.

Capua Palace , Sliema

Capua palace is a 19th century neo-classical palazzo, characterised by the corinthian order colonnaded portico on all four sides. Internally it possesses a majestic staircase which acts as the main focal point. At the height of its grandeur, it included extensive gardens, typical of a stately home. During the Second World War, the Palazzo was used as an orphanage under the care of the Sisters of Charity and remained so up until 1978.


Villa d'Argens - Gzira

Villa d'Argens is an 18th century country villa, reputedly constructed by a French knight of St John, after whom Rue d'Argens has been named. A particular characteristic of the villa is its 'siqifah', a roofed public alley with the villa extending over the airspace of the alley. The architectural feature which hails back to the Medieval period, the best local example being the 'siqifah' in Palazzo Santa Sophia, in Mdina.


St Patrick's School, Sliema

The school and church were constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, the former being inaugurated in 1903 and the latter in 1905. The construction of this building was possible thanks to local benefactors, namely the philanthropist Alfons Maria Galea who donated the land. The school and church were designed by renowned local architect Andrea Vassallo (1856-1928), who is also responsible for a number of notable properties in the area - namely the Sliema Government School, Zammit Clapp Hospital and Villa Rosa in St Julian's.

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