The Malta Independent 20 August 2019, Tuesday

HSBC celebrates the significance of Wignacourt Aqueduct in 400th anniversary

Wednesday, 6 May 2015, 22:01 Last update: about 5 years ago

Letters dating back to the 1610 master plans on a new aqua duct and other heritage items are part of a public exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of the Wignacourt Aqueduct at HSBC Bank Malta's head office in Valletta. Admission to the exhibition is free and runs Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm until 8th May 2015.

All items featured in the exhibition relate to the project by Fra' Alof de Wignacourt, the 54th grandmaster of Malta, to bring freshwater from Rabat to Valletta. Remnants of the aqueduct can still be seen in Attard, Birkirkara and Santa Venera.

The water-channelling system was installed in the early 17th century and ran approximately 12 kilometres long. The viaduct functioned for hundreds of years, providing a constant water supply to Valletta. The project was planned and largely financed by Grand Master Wignacourt and was operated from April 1615 until the early years of the 20th century.

HSBC  Bank  Malta,  as  part  of its HSBC Water Programme - Catch the Drop, marked  the  anniversary on a grand scale with hundreds of school children filling up the space  between City Gate and Pjazza San Ġorġ in Valletta, where a full-fledged re-enactment was presented to excited onlookers and tourists. Spectators also received flyers detailing the history and the story of the Wignacourt Aqeuduct.

The colourful spectacle included military pageantry, folkloristic dancing, traditional races of school children as well as a narration of the historic episode.

HSBC  Bank CEO  Mark Watkinson, Valletta 2018 Foundation chairman Jason Micallef, and Valletta Mayor Professor Alexiei  Dingli addressed those present at the conclusion of the ceremony. They also thanked Heritage Malta, the National Library, the National Archives, and the Central Bank of Malta for their support toward the exhibition.

Following the commemorative event, HSBC Water Programme - Catch the Drop, together with Sustainable Energy and Water Conservation Unit of the Ministry for Energy and Health, and Valletta 2018 Foundation, organised a workshop on the Wignacourt Aqueduct.

The workshop focused on the hydrological, historial and social perspectives related to the development of the project. Judge Giovanni Bonello, Dr Keith Buhagiar, Brian Restall and Manuel Sapiano delivered the presentations.


  • don't miss