Attard

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Attard
Ħ'Attard
Casal Attard
Local council
Ħ'Attard
Parish church of Attard
Parish church of Attard
Flag of Attard
Flag
Coat of arms of Attard
Coat of arms
Motto: Florigera rosis halo
Attard-map.svg
Coordinates: 35°53′34″N 14°26′18″E / 35.89278°N 14.43833°E / 35.89278; 14.43833Coordinates: 35°53′34″N 14°26′18″E / 35.89278°N 14.43833°E / 35.89278; 14.43833
Country  Malta
Island Malta
Borders Mdina, Mosta, Lija, Balzan, Żebbuġ
Government
 • Mayor Stefan Cordina (PN)
Area
 • Total 6.6 km2 (2.5 sq mi)
Population (March 2011)
 • Total 10,134
 • Density 1,500/km2 (4,000/sq mi)
Demonym Saraċini
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code ATD
Dialing code 356
Patron saint Assumption of Mary
Day of festa August 15
Website Official website
Three Villages of Malta
Attard - Balzan - Lija

Attard (Maltese: Ħ'Attard) is a village at the centre point of the island of Malta. Together with Balzan and Lija it forms part of "the Three Villages" and has been inhabited since the Classical Period. It has a population of 10,134 as of March 2011.[1] Attard's traditional Latin motto is Florigera rosis halo ("I perfume the air with my blossoms") due to its many flower gardens and citrus orchards. Attard is abundant with public gardens, including ornamental trees and flowers, maintained by the Local Council. The inhabitants of Attard are known as saraċini.

Etymology[edit]

The name of 'Attard' is thought to have been derived from a surname. Maybe the first person who lived in the village was surnamed Attard. Nobody knows really what the word 'Attard' means. Some say it means blossoms as the word 'Attar' means fresh oil of the flowers. Most Probably it comes from the Arabic 'Atr' meaning perfume.

Municipality[edit]

As a municipality with its own local government structure since 1994, Attard covers a surface area of about seven square kilometers. Its population, including the modern estate of Misrah Kola and surrounding environs, is around 10,000. It comprises to its North, facing the city of Mdina, the flat expanse called Ta' Qali. Beneath it the area known as Ta' l-Idward joins with Misrah Kola, across from Wied San Martin (St Martin's Valley), Wied Inċita (Valley of Instigation) and Wied Irmiedi (Valley of Ashes), on the Żebbuġ side.

Its western front is bordered by Wied is-Sewda (Black Valley), on the Qormi side. This is an anciently inhabited area known as Tax-Xarolla or That ir-Rahal and contains the "Tax-Xarolla Catacombs". On 3 September 1935 in a field known as 'Ta' Farrat' near the Xarolla Windmill, a tomb was found dating to the periods of the Carthaginians and Phoenicians, alongside later Roman pottery remains. On 13 June 1930, a Roman tomb was uncovered nearby.[2]

To its East, up to Tal-Mirakli (of the Miracles) chapel on the Lija side, is a large zone called Ta' Fġieni bordering the village core and the 17th Century parish church at its center, built by architect Tumas Dingli. Dingli, born and bred in Attard, is best known for his work on Grandmaster Alof de Wignacourt's aqueduct, the "Porta Reale" entrance into Valletta and several churches. Of these, only Attard's parish church (with its idiosyncratic façade) remains unaltered. South of the village core is the Sant'Anton Quarter, named for San Anton Palace and the palace's botanic gardens, both built by the Knights between 1623 and 1636. It is now the official residence of the President of Malta and has long been a symbol of Attard.

Development[edit]

During the 1980s Attard experienced a boost in development, reflected in the large-scale construction surrounding the village center. However the area surrounding the church and the Sant'Anton Quarter feature a number of converted farmhouses (recognizable through their wooden doors and flat, rustic roofs) and residences built by the Knights of St John, surrounding the summer palace. Attard is also the location of the St Catherine Nursing Home, one of the largest in the Maltese Islands. The Attard Primary School serves as a polling station during elections and like all other localities in Malta, Attard Local Council elections are held every three years.

Rustic farmhouse in Attard (Dar Antika Maltija)

An increase in entertainment and commercial enterprise has seen development along Triq il-Pitkalija (Pitkalija Road) and nearby the village center, with various retail outlets catering to the village all within walking distance of St Mary's Parish Church. The village center is a hive of activity, especially on Sundays when residents of Attard mingle with fellow churchgoers.

Attard celebrates the feast of the Assumption of Mary on 15 August. The 15 August is a national holiday on the Maltese islands. The parish's current parish priest is Noel Vassallo.

Attard's Full Statue, "the Assumption of Mary"

The Maltese surname "Attard" is possibly linked to the village (another derivation for the surname is the Italian town of "Atti" in Bologna.[3])

Clubs and societies[edit]

The Malta Amateur Radio League club house is situated in Attard and is the representative body for amateur radio in Malta. Since MARL was established in 1922, its aim was to bring together people interested in amateur radio/electronics and discuss and defend amateur radio matters with the local authorities. It provides educational facilities for members with interest in amateur radio/electronics and also an equipped amateur radio station. MARL corresponds and expresses its ideas with local and foreign same-interest groups, providing its members the facilities of a two-way QSL Bureau as well as financing and maintaining VHF & Analog television repeaters and beacons.

The musical society of La Stella Levantina (Eastern Star) is the first of its kind in the village (formed in 1894). It organizes the major activities of the village feast held during 11 -15 August, including band marches and feast decorations. It teaches music (at no cost) in its local club, situated in the center of the village.

Notable residents[edit]

The President's official residence, San Anton Palace, is situated in Attard. Within walking distance of the President's residence is the official residence of the United States Ambassador to Malta. The Tunisian and Libyan embassies to Malta are located in Attard.

Gerald Strickland was also a resident of Attard, at Villa Bologna.

Attard is also home to Archbishop Paul Cremona and Tiffany Pisani, the winner of Britain's Next Top Model season 6.

San Anton Palace and Gardens[edit]

Sant'Anton is not only rich in artistic and historical legacies, but has been a historical center for entertainment and celebrations and a constant job-provider and place of apprenticeship for Attard's residents. The palace has greeted numerous royalty across the centuries, including Queen Marie of Romania, the Russian Empress Marie Feodorovna, King Edward VII and Queen Elizabeth II. It has seen the most distinguished visitors in contrasting personal situations - Napoleon's younger brother Louis Bonaparte as a prisoner, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge as an admiring recluse.

Governor Borton opened its botanic gardens to the public in 1882 for picnics and strolls. Its shaded open courtyards and gardens regularly host extremely popular fairs and competitions celebrating plants, flowers, pedigree (and non-pedigree) animals and livestock. A dramatic company put on a Shakespeare Festival every summer (this has since been discontinued) and music recitals, from chamber orchestras to jazz quarters, often patronize the gardens.

During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2005, hosted by Malta, the President's Palace in Attard served as a residence for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA)[edit]

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has its headquarters in Attard. The MFSA has taken over those supervisory functions that were previously conducted by the Central Bank of Malta, the Malta Stock Exchange and the Malta Financial Services Centre and is now an important regulator for financial services. The sector incorporates all financial activity especially investment, banking and insurance.

Sport[edit]

Attard is the home of Attard F.C., currently competing in Malta's Third Division.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population statistics". Malta Government Gazette. mjha.gov.mt. 9 August 2011. 
  2. ^ http://www.zurrieq.gov.mt/pages/archaelogy.htm Local Council archeological report
  3. ^ Surname Database: Attard Last Name Origin

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]