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Kalkara is a small town with an area of 1.75km2 and a population of around 3,000 people. Kalkara is located in the Eastern part of Malta and it looks over the Grand Harbour. The town gets its name from the Calce, lime in Italian, since there was a lime kiln present there during the Roman times. Kalkara has two bays leading to the Grand Harbour known as Rinella Bay and Kalkara Creek and two peninsulas called Bighi and Ricasoli. Historians believe that the Kalkara area was was the first to be inhabited when the first people came to Malta from Sicily. The inlets seem to be adequate shelter from the heavy storms of the Mediterranean Sea. Kalkara is known for boat building, in particular, the Maltese dgħajsa and barklori. The locals participate actively in the traditional boat races, known as the regattas, building their own boats.

The first stone of the current Parish Church was laid on the 13th October, 1946, after the previous one was destroyed in the Second World War. The church was designed on a neo-classical style by Vincenzo Bonello and Joseph D’Amato. The titular statue of St. Joseph is a wooden masterpiece that was created by the famous artist Ferdinando Stuflesser in Bolzano. The church was further adorned throughout the years; in 1953, Loreto Mintoff donated an exceptional high-altar made of marble, while the marble pulpit, the marble pavement and the Via Sacra were added along the years.

Things to see and do:

Esplora - Esplora Interactive Science Centre at Bighi is Malta’s latest visitor attraction which was officially opened on 26th October 2016. It is an interactive Science Centre with various workshops and shows for adults and children alike.

Fort Ricasoli: This fort on the Rinella Peninsula was built by Grandmaster Nicholas Cottoner to defend the entrance of the Grand Harbour from the Turks. Giovanni Ricasoli contributed a lot for the fort’s construction, and that’s from where the fort got its name. The fort was used both by the Knights and the British, who also used it as a prison.

Fort Our Saviour: In 1724, Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena wanted to build a fort close to the entrance of Kalkara in order to protect the adjacent Vittoriosa and to have a lookout at the Grand Harbour.

Villa Portelli: Overlooking the Kalkara Creek, there is Villa Portelli which was built by Sir Agostino Portelli as a summer residence. Throughout the Second World War, this villa was the residence of the Flag Officer, while from 1961, the Admirals started to use it as their residence.

Getting there

Bus number 3 from Valletta

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