Grand Harbour

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For other uses, see Grand Harbour (disambiguation). Grand Harbour_sentence_0

The Grand Harbour (Maltese: il-Port il-Kbir; Italian: Porto Grande), also known as the Port of Valletta, is a natural harbour on the island of Malta. Grand Harbour_sentence_1

It has been substantially modified over the years with extensive docks, wharves, and fortifications. Grand Harbour_sentence_2

Description Grand Harbour_section_0

The harbour mouth faces north east and is bounded to the north by Saint Elmo Point and further sheltered by an isolated breakwater and is bounded to the south by Ricasoli Point. Grand Harbour_sentence_3

Its north west shore is formed by the Sciberras peninsula, which is largely covered by the city of Valletta and its suburb Floriana. Grand Harbour_sentence_4

This peninsula also divides Grand Harbour from a second parallel natural harbour, Marsamxett Harbour. Grand Harbour_sentence_5

The main waterway of Grand Harbour continues inland almost to Marsa. Grand Harbour_sentence_6

The southeastern shore of the harbour is formed by a number of inlets and headlands, principally Rinella Creek, Kalkara Creek, Dockyard Creek, and French Creek, which are covered by Kalkara and the Three Cities: Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea. Grand Harbour_sentence_7

The harbour has been described as Malta's greatest geographic asset. Grand Harbour_sentence_8

With its partner harbour of Marsamxett, Grand Harbour lies at the centre of gently rising ground. Grand Harbour_sentence_9

Development has grown up all around the twin harbours and up the slopes so that the whole bowl is effectively one large conurbation. Grand Harbour_sentence_10

Much of Malta's population lives within a three kilometer radius of Floriana. Grand Harbour_sentence_11

This is now one of the most densely populated areas in Europe. Grand Harbour_sentence_12

The harbours and the surrounding areas make up Malta's Northern and Southern Harbour Districts. Grand Harbour_sentence_13

Together, these districts contain 27 of 68 local councils. Grand Harbour_sentence_14

They have a population of 213,722 which make up over 47% of the total population of the Maltese islands. Grand Harbour_sentence_15

History Grand Harbour_section_1

The Maltese islands have a long history, mainly due to its strategic location and natural harbours, mainly the Grand Harbour as well as Marsamxett. Grand Harbour_sentence_16

The Grand Harbour has in fact been used since prehistoric times. Grand Harbour_sentence_17

Megalithic remains have been found on the shores of the Grand Harbour. Grand Harbour_sentence_18

The Kordin Temples, the earliest of which date back to around 3700 BC, overlooked the harbour from Corradino Heights. Grand Harbour_sentence_19

Another megalithic structure possibly existed underwater off Fort Saint Angelo, but this can no longer be seen. Grand Harbour_sentence_20

Punic and Roman remains were also found on the shores of the harbour. Grand Harbour_sentence_21

By the 12th and 13th centuries, the Castrum Maris had been built in what is now Birgu. Grand Harbour_sentence_22

It might have been built instead of ancient buildings, possibly Phoenician or Roman temples, or an Arab fortress. Grand Harbour_sentence_23

In 1283, the Battle of Malta was fought at the entrance of the Grand Harbour. Grand Harbour_sentence_24

Aragonese forces defeated a larger Angevin force and captured 10 galleys. Grand Harbour_sentence_25

The Grand Harbour was the base for the Order of Saint John for 268 years, from 1530 to 1798. Grand Harbour_sentence_26

They settled in the city of Birgu and improved its fortifications, including rebuilding the Castrum Maris as Fort Saint Angelo. Grand Harbour_sentence_27

In July 1551, Barbary corsairs and Ottoman forces raided Malta. Grand Harbour_sentence_28

They landed at Marsamxett and marched upon the Grand Harbour, but did not attack as they found the town of Birgu too well fortified to attack. Grand Harbour_sentence_29

Although this attempt was unsuccessful, the Ottoman force later managed to sack Gozo and conquer Tripoli within the same campaign. Grand Harbour_sentence_30

After the attack, Fort Saint Elmo and Fort Saint Michael were built to better protect the harbour in any future attacks. Grand Harbour_sentence_31

The city of Senglea was also founded soon afterwards. Grand Harbour_sentence_32

Later on in the 1550s, a tornado struck the Grand Harbour, killing 600 people and destroying a shipping armada. Grand Harbour_sentence_33

The area was the scene of much of the fighting in the Great Siege of Malta of 1565 when the Ottomans attempted to eject the Order of St John but were ultimately defeated. Grand Harbour_sentence_34

After the siege, the capital city of Valletta was built on the Sciberras peninsula on the north west shore of the harbour. Grand Harbour_sentence_35

Over the years, more fortifications and settlements were founded within the Grand Harbour, including Fort Ricasoli and the towns of Floriana and Cospicua. Grand Harbour_sentence_36

During the French occupation of Malta, the harbour area was blockaded by Maltese rebels on land and the Royal Navy at sea. Grand Harbour_sentence_37

The French eventually capitulated in September 1800 and Malta became a British protectorate, later a colony. Grand Harbour_sentence_38

During the British colonial rule, the harbour became a strategic base for the Royal Navy and the base of the Mediterranean Fleet. Grand Harbour_sentence_39

The whole area was savagely bombed during the Second Siege of Malta during World War II, as the docks and military installations around the port became targets for Axis bombers. Grand Harbour_sentence_40

However collateral damage wrecked much of Valletta and The Three Cities, and caused large numbers of civilian casualties. Grand Harbour_sentence_41

Malta Dockyard is still active but with the departure of the British Military the harbour lost much of its military significance. Grand Harbour_sentence_42

A considerable part of Malta's commercial shipping is now handled by the new free port at Kalafrana, so the harbour is much quieter than it was in the first half of the 20th century. Grand Harbour_sentence_43

A Vision for Malta's Grand Harbour Grand Harbour_section_2

The Grand Harbour, the backdrop to Malta's history, is set to experience a regeneration as in September 2007, the Maltese Government unveiled 20 proposed projects that would revamp the area while respecting its historic value. Grand Harbour_sentence_44

The 20 proposals are these: Grand Harbour_sentence_45

Grand Harbour_unordered_list_0

  • A New Cruise Liner Terminal in SengleaGrand Harbour_item_0_0
  • Extending the Valletta Cruise Liner TerminalGrand Harbour_item_0_1
  • One promenade from Ricasoli all the way to SengleaGrand Harbour_item_0_2
  • New yacht marina in KalkaraGrand Harbour_item_0_3
  • Conversion of Sir Paul Boffa hospital into a hotelGrand Harbour_item_0_4
  • A new tourism and cultural sectorGrand Harbour_item_0_5
  • A center for the audio-visual industry in Fort RicasoliGrand Harbour_item_0_6
  • Restoration of Villa BighiGrand Harbour_item_0_7
  • Super yachts along the Senglea waterfrontGrand Harbour_item_0_8
  • Discontinuing the Cleaning of TanksGrand Harbour_item_0_9
  • A Commercial Maritime ParkGrand Harbour_item_0_10
  • Maritime instituteGrand Harbour_item_0_11
  • Maritime servicesGrand Harbour_item_0_12
  • Closing down the Marsa Power StationGrand Harbour_item_0_13
  • Afforestation of the Rinella ValleyGrand Harbour_item_0_14
  • Rinella CreekGrand Harbour_item_0_15
  • New maritime infrastructure in KalkaraGrand Harbour_item_0_16
  • The reorganisation of Xatt il-MollijietGrand Harbour_item_0_17
  • Extension of quay infrastructe in CoradinoGrand Harbour_item_0_18
  • A Base for Towing Services in Xatt il-KnisjaGrand Harbour_item_0_19

Around the Grand Harbour from Fort Ricasoli to Fort St. Elmo Grand Harbour_section_3

Grand Harbour_unordered_list_1

  • Fort RicasoliGrand Harbour_item_1_20
  • Rinella BayGrand Harbour_item_1_21
  • BighiGrand Harbour_item_1_22
  • Kalkara CreekGrand Harbour_item_1_23
    • Marina Road, KalkaraGrand Harbour_item_1_24
    • Kalkara Strand, KalkaraGrand Harbour_item_1_25
    • Mandraġġ Strand, BirguGrand Harbour_item_1_26
  • Fort St. AngeloGrand Harbour_item_1_27
  • Dockyard Creek or Cottonera MarinaGrand Harbour_item_1_28
    • St. Angelo Strand, BirguGrand Harbour_item_1_29
    • Xatt il-Forn, BirguGrand Harbour_item_1_30
    • Xatt ir-Risq, BirguGrand Harbour_item_1_31
    • Xatt San Lawrenz, BirguGrand Harbour_item_1_32
    • Dock No. 1, BormlaGrand Harbour_item_1_33
    • Xatt Juan B. Azzopardi, SengleaGrand Harbour_item_1_34
  • Fort Saint MichaelGrand Harbour_item_1_35
  • French CreekGrand Harbour_item_1_36
    • Dock No. 2Grand Harbour_item_1_37
    • Ghajn Dwieli RoadGrand Harbour_item_1_38
    • CorradinoGrand Harbour_item_1_39
    • Dock No. 6Grand Harbour_item_1_40
  • Ras Ħanżir PointGrand Harbour_item_1_41
  • New PortGrand Harbour_item_1_42
    • Shipwrights Wharf, PaolaGrand Harbour_item_1_43
    • Dock No. 7Grand Harbour_item_1_44
    • Xatt il-Mollijiet, Albert TownGrand Harbour_item_1_45
    • Church Wharf, MarsaGrand Harbour_item_1_46
  • Il-MenqaGrand Harbour_item_1_47
    • Bridge Wharf, MarsaGrand Harbour_item_1_48
    • Flagstone Wharf / Moll iċ-Ċangatura, MarsaGrand Harbour_item_1_49
    • Lighters Wharf / il-Moll tal-Braken, MarsaGrand Harbour_item_1_50
    • Timber Wharf / il-Moll tal-Ħatab, MarsaGrand Harbour_item_1_51
    • Xatt l-Għassara tal-Għeneb, MarsaGrand Harbour_item_1_52
  • Valletta Waterfront or Pinto Wharf, FlorianaGrand Harbour_item_1_53
  • Lascaris Wharf, VallettaGrand Harbour_item_1_54
  • Xatt il-Barriera, VallettaGrand Harbour_item_1_55
  • Taħt iż-ŻiemelGrand Harbour_item_1_56
  • Fort St. ElmoGrand Harbour_item_1_57

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Harbour.