Marsaskala

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Marsaskala

Wied il-Għajn Marsascala, M'SkalaMarsaskala_header_cell_0_0_0

CountryMarsaskala_header_cell_0_1_0 MaltaMarsaskala_cell_0_1_1
RegionMarsaskala_header_cell_0_2_0 South Eastern RegionMarsaskala_cell_0_2_1
DistrictMarsaskala_header_cell_0_3_0 South Eastern DistrictMarsaskala_cell_0_3_1
BordersMarsaskala_header_cell_0_4_0 Marsaxlokk, Żabbar, ŻejtunMarsaskala_cell_0_4_1
GovernmentMarsaskala_header_cell_0_5_0
MayorMarsaskala_header_cell_0_6_0 Mario Calleja (PL)Marsaskala_cell_0_6_1
AreaMarsaskala_header_cell_0_7_0
TotalMarsaskala_header_cell_0_8_0 5.4 km (2.1 sq mi)Marsaskala_cell_0_8_1
Population (Jan. 2019)Marsaskala_header_cell_0_9_0
TotalMarsaskala_header_cell_0_10_0 14,592Marsaskala_cell_0_10_1
DensityMarsaskala_header_cell_0_11_0 2,700/km (7,000/sq mi)Marsaskala_cell_0_11_1
Demonym(s)Marsaskala_header_cell_0_12_0 SkalinMarsaskala_cell_0_12_1
Time zoneMarsaskala_header_cell_0_13_0 UTC+1 (CET)Marsaskala_cell_0_13_1
Summer (DST)Marsaskala_header_cell_0_14_0 UTC+2 (CEST)Marsaskala_cell_0_14_1
Postal codeMarsaskala_header_cell_0_15_0 MSKMarsaskala_cell_0_15_1
Dialing codeMarsaskala_header_cell_0_16_0 356Marsaskala_cell_0_16_1
ISO 3166 codeMarsaskala_header_cell_0_17_0 MT-27Marsaskala_cell_0_17_1
Patron saintMarsaskala_header_cell_0_18_0 St. AnneMarsaskala_cell_0_18_1
Day of festaMarsaskala_header_cell_0_19_0 Last Sunday of JulyMarsaskala_cell_0_19_1
WebsiteMarsaskala_header_cell_0_20_0 Marsaskala_cell_0_20_1

Marsaskala (M'Skala, Maltese: Wied il-Għajn), also spelt Marsascala (M'Scala), is a sea-side town in the South Eastern Region of Malta that has grown around the small harbour at the head of Marsaskala Bay, a long narrow inlet also known as Marsaskala Creek. Marsaskala_sentence_0

The bay is sheltered to the north by Ras iż-Żonqor, the south-east corner of Malta, and to the south by the headland of Ras il-Gżira. Marsaskala_sentence_1

The parish church is dedicated to Santa Anna (Saint Anne) and the feast is celebrated at the end of July in Marsaskala. Marsaskala_sentence_2

It was originally a fishing village only but has gradually evolved into a tourist destination and a permanent hometown for an ever-growing population. Marsaskala_sentence_3

The town has a winter population of 12,134 people (as of March 2014), but swells to around 20,000 in summer. Marsaskala_sentence_4

Etymology Marsaskala_section_0

Different opinions exist regarding the origin of the name Marsaskala. Marsaskala_sentence_5

While it is commonly agreed that Marsa is an Arabic word meaning bay, Skala has given rise to different interpretations. Marsaskala_sentence_6

It could have been derived from Sqalli (Sicilian) for Marsaskala was frequented by Sicilian fishermen since Malta is just 60 miles (97 km) south from Sicily. Marsaskala_sentence_7

Maybe it was derived from the Sicilian 'Piccola Cala' meaning little inlet or it was just a reference to some rock-cut steps on the water's edge since scala also means a straight flight of steps. Marsaskala_sentence_8

Marsaskala is better known as Wied il-Għajn by the Maltese as the bay and the old small village are flanked by two valleys, through which a spring of fresh water used to flow down into the innermost bay. Marsaskala_sentence_9

Wied means valley and Għajn (pronounced ayn) refers to the spring of fresh water. Marsaskala_sentence_10

Literally, Wied il-Għajn means Valley of the Spring. Marsaskala_sentence_11

History Marsaskala_section_1

Human inhabited the area since pre-history, as evidenced by a number archaeological remains. Marsaskala_sentence_12

Some of the ancient remains are the cart-ruts, which are parallel channels formed in the rock. Marsaskala_sentence_13

Early Christian catacombs, as well as Roman era remains, were discovered in Marsaskala, the latter suggesting that Marsaskala was also a Roman port. Marsaskala_sentence_14

Remains of Roman Baths were found in a field at il-Gżira, a rock peninsula behind the Jerma Palace Hotel. Marsaskala_sentence_15

In 1614, 60 Turkish ships carrying 6000 soldiers landed at Marsaskala and launched an attack on the south of Malta. Marsaskala_sentence_16

Although the battle was a decisive Christian victory, it brought back fear and terrifying memories of the 1565 Great Siege of Malta. Marsaskala_sentence_17

Marsaskala's vulnerability to sea borne attacks was reduced by the building of Saint Thomas Tower later in that same year. Marsaskala_sentence_18

The tower was financed by Grandmaster Alof de Wignacourt and it is one of a series of Wignacourt towers. Marsaskala_sentence_19

St Thomas Tower continued to be used for military purposes until the 19th century and it has been recently restored. Marsaskala_sentence_20

In 1659, Żonqor Tower, one of 13 De Redin towers was built in the area. Marsaskala_sentence_21

This tower was demolished in 1915 by British military engineers. Marsaskala_sentence_22

No traces of it can be seen anymore and a pillbox now stands in its place. Marsaskala_sentence_23

Marsaskala has various other towers, but these were built privately by wealthy residents as fortified houses. Marsaskala_sentence_24

These include Mamo Tower, Tal-Buttar Tower and Tal-Gardiel Tower. Marsaskala_sentence_25

In 1715, Briconet Redoubt was built by the Order and it is now well preserved and is used as a police station. Marsaskala_sentence_26

A second redoubt was built close to Marsaskala but it was destroyed in 1915. Marsaskala_sentence_27

In 1882, the British built Żonqor Battery but it was not used a lot since it was unsuitable for proper defence. Marsaskala_sentence_28

In 2003, U.S. amateur pseudo-archaeologist Bob Cornuke caused a controversy with sweeping statements written in his book The Lost Shipwreck of St. Paul, where he claimed that the Apostle Paul had been shipwrecked in St Thomas' Bay, in Marsaskala. Marsaskala_sentence_29

His claim was never confirmed and discredited by those related in the field, though St. Thomas' Bay (and simultaneously several bays in the Mediterranean) matches the limited description found in the 27th chapter of the book of Acts: a sandy beach, rocky shoreline, deep water (about 90-foot depth) relatively close to shore, and the discovery of four identical Roman Era ship anchors found in the bay during the 1960s, now in the Malta Maritime Museum. Marsaskala_sentence_30

As a monument over the more recent Maltese history are the remains of the previous four-star Corinthia Jerma Palace Hotel at the very tip of mainland Ras il-Gżira. Marsaskala_sentence_31

The hotel was owned by Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company for 25 years and was closed in March 2007. Marsaskala_sentence_32

Government Marsaskala_section_2

The first council in Marsaskala was formed in April 1994. Marsaskala_sentence_33

The first village mayor was also Malta's first female mayor, Marvic Attard Gialanze. Marsaskala_sentence_34

The main issue in this election was the controversial proposal of the building of a new waste recycling plant and a number of biogas tanks in Sant' Antnin Valley. Marsaskala_sentence_35

This development is being challenged by a committee composed of seven Labour-led local councils (including Marsaskala) and eight local non-government organisations. Marsaskala_sentence_36

The matter has been raised in the European Parliament. Marsaskala_sentence_37

The former President George Abela, the former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and two Labour Members of Parliament, Dr Owen Bonnici and Dr Helena Dalli live in the Marsaskala area, as does the leader of the defunct party Azzjoni Nazzjonali, Josie Muscat. Marsaskala_sentence_38

Geography Marsaskala_section_3

The town of Marsaskala is located in the south east of Malta, around the small harbour at the head of Marsaskala Bay, a long narrow inlet also known as Marsaskala Creek. Marsaskala_sentence_39

The bay is sheltered to the north by Ras iż-Żonqor, the south-east corner of Malta, and to the south by the headland of Ras il-Gżira. Marsaskala_sentence_40

The town itself is located along both sides of the bay, and across most of Il-Ħamrija, a creek leading to Il-Ponta tal-Gzira. Marsaskala_sentence_41

The shore north of Ras iż-Żonqor is of low cliffs, with shelving rock ledges south of the point. Marsaskala_sentence_42

Marsaskala Bay is largely edged by promenade, with low shelving rock ledges cut with salt pans on the seaward face of Ras iċ-Ċerna, which continue on round the eastern point, past l-Abjad iż-Żgħir, and into Il-Bajja ta' San Tumas (St Thomas' Bay) to the south. Marsaskala_sentence_43

Sports Marsaskala_section_4

The main sports in Marsaskala are football and waterpolo. Marsaskala_sentence_44

Marsaskala F.C. are a football club founded in 2010. Marsaskala_sentence_45

Marsaskala Sports Club, founded in 1927, and re-founded in 1974 is one of the oldest waterpolo clubs in Malta. Marsaskala_sentence_46

Having languished in the second division for many years, Marsaskala Sports Club established themselves as one of Malta's top teams in the mid-nineties. Marsaskala_sentence_47

In 1997 they were crowned Malta champions, the only season the trophy was won by a club from southern Malta. Marsaskala_sentence_48

They have represented Malta in the Ligue Européenne de Natation (LEN) Trophy in Chios, Greece in 1997 and the European Champions Cup in 1998 in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic, becoming the first Maltese team to win two European Champions Cup matches, against Swiss champions Horgen and the hosts themselves. Marsaskala_sentence_49

Several Marsaskala Sports Club products have also played with distinction in the national team, amongst of which were Charles Flask, Alfred Xuereb il-Yogi, Charles Żammit, Joseph Caruana Dingli, Anton Privitera, Paul Privitera and John Licari. Marsaskala_sentence_50

Both Joseph Caruana Dingli and Paul Privitera have also captained the Malta national team on many occasions. Marsaskala_sentence_51

Marsaskala was also the venue of the 2005 European Eight-ball Pool Championships and the European Darts Championships, both held at the Jerma Palace Hotel. Marsaskala_sentence_52

Marsaskala is popular with divers and swimmers. Marsaskala_sentence_53

Twin towns – sister cities Marsaskala_section_5

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Malta Marsaskala_sentence_54

Marsaskala is a member of the Douzelage, a unique town twinning association of towns across the European Union. Marsaskala_sentence_55

This active town twinning began in 1991 and Marsaskala joined in 2009. Marsaskala_sentence_56

There are regular events, such as a produce market from each of the other countries and festivals. Marsaskala_sentence_57

Marsaskala main roads Marsaskala_section_6

Marsaskala_unordered_list_0

  • Triq Ħaż-Żabbar (Zabbar Road)Marsaskala_item_0_0
  • Triq id-Daħla ta' San Tumas (St Thomas Bay Road)Marsaskala_item_0_1
  • Triq il-Qaliet (Qaliet Street)Marsaskala_item_0_2
  • Triq is-Salini (Salini Street)Marsaskala_item_0_3
  • Triq ix-Xatt (Marina Street) - 3, Triq ix-XattMarsaskala_item_0_4
  • Triq iż-Żonqor (Zonqor Road)Marsaskala_item_0_5
  • Triq La Sengle (La Sengle Street)Marsaskala_item_0_6
  • Triq San Ġużepp (St Joseph Street)Marsaskala_item_0_7
  • Triq San Luqa (St Luke Street)Marsaskala_item_0_8
  • Triq Sant' Anna (St Anne Street)Marsaskala_item_0_9
  • Triq Sant' Antnin (Sant' Antnin Road)Marsaskala_item_0_10
  • Triq Tal-Gardiel (Tal-Gardiel Road)Marsaskala_item_0_11


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsaskala.