THE PORTAL - THE FREEPORT WILL START OPERATING

Malta’s standing as a major trade hub in the central Mediterranean received a new lease of life during the concluding quarter of the past century. Sea reclamation on an unprecedented scale at Kalafrana (Marsaxlokk Bay) was undertaken over a number of years to create two expansive quays and related storage facilities and harbour works for the temporary storage and handling of containers. From the onset of its operations in 1990, the Malta Freeport evolved into a leading regional facility handling of tens of thousands of containers destined to other ports all over the Mediterranean and beyond.

THE PORTAL - THE GOZO FERRY DOCKS AT ĊIRKEWWA

Although just 8 kilometres long, the crossing between Malta and Gozo has consistently been a hard nut to crack. Apart from the channel’s exposure to the insidious west and northwest winds, the littoral along the mainland is devoid of natural havens. Mooring facilities were developed at Marfa during the late 19th and early 20th centuries but the resultant quayside proved to be unusable on most windy days. A more sheltered and spacious terminal was eventually constructed at Ċirkewwa during the mid-1970s.

THE PORTAL - GOZO WILL HAVE A NEW HARBOUR

Mġarr Harbour, Gozo’s gateway for centuries on end, received a major upgrade shortly after the attainment of Independence. Arguably the most voluminous infrastructural project in 20th-century Gozo, it formed part of a comprehensive and farsighted masterplan spearheaded by the then Gozo Regional Council. Besides meeting the requirements of the expanding inter-island ferry service, the resultant enclosure provided safe anchorage for fishing vessels.

THE PORTAL - THE BREAKWATER HANDED OVER TO THE ADMIRALITY

The Grand Harbour, Malta’s foremost natural resource, evolved into one of the busiest maritime hubs throughout the Mediterranean with the turn of the 19th century. The Royal Navy‘s mighty Mediterranean Fleet established its base here and multiple infrastructural projects were undertaken to maximise its potential. These included the construction of two formidable breakwaters at its mouth to transform Kalkara and Rinella bays into all weather anchorages.

THE PORTAL

4 Issues (Maltese & English) – Malta during World War II

Standing at the centre of the Mediterranean and being adorned with formidable havens, Malta was often in the thick of key events that impinged dramatically on world history. Chief amongst these is World War II, when between 1940 and 1942 it became the most bombarded place on earth, receiving some 3000 air raids. Against all odds, the resilient Maltese stood still and earned the coveted George Cross for their ‘heroism and devotion’.

These four issue of ‘The Portal’ provide an overview of the salient points of this dreadful experience.

THE PORTAL

4 Issues (Maltese & English) – Maltese Language from Establishment of First Standard Alphabet to Acknowledgement as Official EU Language

This year marks the first century from the establishment of the Akkademja tal-Malti. Founded on 14 November 1920 with the aim of promoting Maltese as a written language, it has played an instrumental role in the standardisation of Maltese orthography and has spearheaded the acknowledging of Maltese as the National Language of Malta and eventually one of the official languages of the EU.

Heritage Malta and the Akkademja tal-Malti joined forces to commemorate this milestone anniversary with a string of initiatives.

THE PORTAL

4 Issues (Maltese & English) – Constitutional Achievements from Independence to EU Accession

Heritage Malta’s repertoire of didactic resources includes a series of posters highlighting landmark events in our modern history. The set downloadable here focus on four constitutional milestones, namely Independence, the establishment of the Republic, the departure of the last foreign forces and EU accession.

Produced in collaboration with the Education Department.

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