Malta Travel Diary:
25 SEP 2019
Words: The New Norm
Photographs: The New Norm
The houses are Malta are mostly built by a mellow toned yellow limestone, bringing a strong contrast with the clear blue waters. Looking up, the sky was filled with balconies protruding outwards. These balconies are built with wood for structure and each balcony is painted with a different colour paint.
These balconies were first introduced during the Arab rule of Malta, these balconies had to be built to provide security where the women could hide from a stranger’s line of sight but also giving the views of the street from the inside, hence becoming a “look out space”. During the 18th century, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, instructed that each new building would have to contain one of the many design elements, and so, the people began decorating their balconies as it was one of the easiest ways to incorporate a design element.
As Maltese people do not specialize in building these buildings, slaves from North Africa and Turkey were brought over, which explains why these balconies were painted in colours resembling African and Turkish cultural colours. The traditional colour for Maltese balconies are yellow, green and red, slowly, residents began to paint different colours according to their liking, some even painted their door the same colour, adding bright colours to these mellow toned streets.