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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - Hastings

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Hastings Garden

 

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Hastings Garden, named after General Francis Marquis of Hastings is a quaint green spot in Valletta. Perched on the St. Michael Bastion, it offers some truly splendid views of Marsamxett, Floriana, Sliema, Msida and Manoel Island. This irregularly shaped park spans a distance of some 350 meters, and consists of a south and a larger north segment. It is situated behind St. John’s Cavalier, on Windmill Street.

Before the area was converted into a garden, the neoclassical Hastings monument in the south segment was erected here in 1826 by Woodford. This shows the Governor in a reclined position under a roofed structure reminiscent of a Greek temple.

The Sette Giunio monument by prolific Maltese sculptor Anton Agius has been temporarily moved to this location from its previous setting in St. George’s Square. This recalls the uprisings of June 7th 1919 in which Manwel Attard, Ġuzè Bajada, Wenzu (Lorenzo) Dyer and Karmenu Abela were shot to death by the British forces in their attempts to subdue the riots. It will be once again relocated to the new parliament building upon its completion in 2013.

A sentry box in the bastion must have provided solace and shelter to many a guard as his eyes scoured the vista for signs of an impending enemy attack; whilst a cannon is poised on the brink of the bastion to defend the island from the invaders.

A Khachqar – a typically Armenian art form – is located in the north segment of the garden. This is a vertical cuboidal structure with a cross inscribed onto it. It was commissioned by Ashot and Vera Boyajyans and the Armenian Community of Malta and acknowledges Malta’s support “..to Armenians who found refuge on this island in the tragic years of 1375 and 1915” . 

Further north are the remains of a 21 metre obelisk that was erected in honour of Sir Frederic Ponsonby, Lord Hasting’s successor who governed Malta until 1836. In an unfortunate incident, this structure was struck by lightening and only the base of this monument has survived until today.