Upper Barrakka Gardens

Public Garden (16th-18th Century)
Upper Barrakka Gardens - General view of the main loggia.



Situated on the uppermost part of the fortifications (the two tiered bastion of Saint Peter and Saint Paul), the ramparts served a military purpose originally. As the danger receded, this post was turned into recreational grounds for the Italian knights such that the area was known as the Post of Italy.The terraced arches harbour built in 1661 were roofed but the roofing was removed in the late 18th century after a failed revolt against Grand Master Ximenes led to the belief that the conspirators met under the arcades. The roofing was removed to make clandestine meetings more difficult. The railed gallery which suffered severely from war bombing, commands a remarkable view across the harbour. Important events were held here such as the 1913 International Eucharistic Congress and the huge prayer gathering on the 15th of August, 1942 with the arrival of the so-called, life-saving 'Santa Marija convoy'.

The Garrison chapel was originally built as a Chapel-School in 1865. It served as a place of worship till 1950. It was then used as an annex for entertainment. It was later taken over by the General Post Office to serve as a Central Mail Room. It has been used as Malta’s stock exchange since 1999.The gardens became public and started taking the shape as we know them today only in the 19th century, especially with the Governship of Sir Thomas Maitland, who began to use the gardens as a site for monuments and commemorative plaques- a tradition that continues to this day. One of these monuments, at the centre of this garden, is the burial monument of Sir Thomas Maitland himself.