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View of Sliema
|Motto: Celer Ad Oras Surgo|
|District||Northern Harbour District|
|Borders||Gżira, St. Julian's|
|• Mayor||Anthony Chircop (PN)|
|• Total||1.3 km2 (0.5 sq mi)|
|Population (March 2014)|
|• Density||13,000/km2 (34,000/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Slimiż (m), Slimiża (f), Slimiżi (pl)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||MT-56|
|Patron saint||Our Lady, Star of the Sea|
|Day of festa||First Sunday after 18 August|
Sliema (Maltese: Tas-Sliema) is a town in the Central Region of Malta. It is a centre for shopping, restaurants and café life. Tas-Sliema is also a major commercial and residential area and houses several quality hotels. Tas-Sliema, which means 'peace, comfort', was once a quiet fishing village on the peninsula across Marsamxett Harbour from Valletta. Now Sliema and the coastline up to neighbouring St. Julian's constitutes Malta's main coastal resort; as a result, Sliema has been ringed with modern apartment blocks and become engorged with traffic in recent decades causing protest from the Sliema Residents Association.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Population and notable residents
- 4 Education
- 5 Landmarks
- 6 Churches
- 7 Feasts
- 8 Band clubs
- 9 Sports
- 10 Scouting
- 11 Zones in Tas-Sliema
- 12 Tas-Sliema main roads
- 13 Twin towns
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Sliema got its name from a demolished chapel known as Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel, which served as a beacon and a reference point for the sailors and fishermen in Marsamxett Harbour. The name could thus be connected with the first words of the Hail Mary prayer, which in Maltese is "Sliem Għalik Marija". Sliem is the Maltese word meaning peace.
The origins – The Siege of Malta
At the Great Siege of 1565, il-Qortin, as it was then known, was a camp centre for Ottoman troops led by Dragut. He met his fate there, having been killed by a bombardment from Fort Saint Elmo at the other flank of Marsamxett Harbour, where Tas-Sliema stands. Fort Tigné was eventually built by the Knights of St. John in the late 18th century and further developed by the British in later years. Tas-Sliema lies on a peninsula.
The British period
In 1855 a new church dedicated to Our Lady Star of the Sea ("Stella Maris") was opened to public worship. Around the new church, the small village grew into a town. By 1878, the population grew to such an extent that the religious authorities had the Stella Maris Church declared a parish in its own right and it was separated from St. Helen's parish of Birkirkara.
The town began to develop rapidly in the second half of the 19th century becoming popular as a summer resort for wealthier Valletta residents. Their elegant villas and town houses lined the quiet, inland streets. Various Victorian buildings graced its three kilometre sea promenade which overlooked rugged rocks, farms and even a small sandy beach. In 1990 one of these farms which had been abandoned, was transformed into a coastline garden known as Ġnien Indipendenza (Independence Garden).
A few Victorian, as well as art nouveau houses, still remain in the inner streets, although only a handful remain along the shoreline, as there has been significant modern development of apartment blocks and hotels. A distinctive group of six traditional houses with Maltese balconies has survived remarkably intact at Belvedere Terrace, set back from Ix-Xatt (the Strand). These houses overlook Manoel Island to the South across the Sliema Creek; the houses have heritage protection and the lower buildings between them and Ix-Xatt cannot be built upwards.
The British built a number of fortifications on the Sliema peninsula in the 19th century. These were Sliema Point Battery (1872–76), Cambridge Battery (1878-86) and Garden Battery (1889–94). In addition, the 18th century Fort Tigné remained in use as well, and barracks were built on the Tigné peninsula.
In 1881 the first sea water distillery on the island was erected in Sliema in order to provide water to the Tigné barracks. In 1882 the distillery was decommissioned and the building, which still stands today, has been occupied by a printing press since that time. The barracks it supplied water to were demolished in 2001 in order to make way for the development of Tigné Point development.
The town has a considerable number of streets connected with the British era in Malta, such as Norfolk Street, Amery Street, Windsor Terrace, Graham Street, Milner Street and Fort Cambridge.
Population and notable residents
The population of Sliema is just under 17,000 and it has a significant turnover of foreign expatriates who reside temporarily. The town was the residence of the late Dr. Giorgio Borġ Olivier, former prime minister and architect of Malta's independence and the temporary residence of socialist Manwel Dimech who was one of Malta's foremost revolutionary thinkers at the turn of the 20th century. He died in exile in Egypt and Lower Prince of Wales Road was renamed in his honour. Tas-Sliema is also the hometown of footballer Michael Mifsud and music artist Ira Losco.
It was the birthplace of several famous people: former prime minister Dr. Alfred Sant; Dr. Michael Falzon of the Malta Labour Party; Captain George Stivala O.B.E., High Commissioner for Malta in Australia during the 1950s and 1960s; Archbishop George Caruana (1882–1951), the venerable Don Nazzareno Camilleri (1906–1973), British journalist Peter Hitchens and vocalist Marc Storace of the Swiss heavy metal band Krokus.
A list of Schools in Sliema:
- Tas-Sliema Primary C – Blanche Huber Street
- St. Joseph School – Cathedral Street
- St. Francis Girl's Secondary School
- Tas-Sliema Boys Junior Lyceum
- St Benild
- St Dorothy's Girl's Primary School
English Language Schools
- Language Studies International (LSI)
- Geos English Language School
- inlingua School of Languages
- Linguatime School of English – Tower Road
- IELS – Mattew Pulis Street
- AM Language School
- ECS English Communication School
- English Language Academy
- Savoy Hotel
- Palazzo Capua
- The Stella Maris Church, Mother Parish of Sliema
- The Sacro Cuor Parish Church (Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Parish Church)
- The Chapel of Our Lady of Graces
- Saint Julian's Tower
- Fort Tigné
- Sliema Point Battery (il-Fortizza)
- Cambridge Battery
- Garden Battery
- Lembi Battery and several French blockade batteries (demolished)
Sliema has a number of Catholic churches such as the one dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth known as "In-Nazzarenu", three dedicated to Our Lady : Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Stella Maris (which is the oldest Catholic church and thus the mother church dating from 1855) and one dedicated to a saintly Pope St. Gregory the Great.
In addition to the above list of churches, is the Anglican Holy Trinity Church Built in 1866 in Rudolphe Street.
Like all Maltese towns and villages the annual Sliema parish feasts are very popular especially those held in honour of the Our Lady Stella Maris (August) and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (Madonna tas-Sacro Cuor)in July. While to a lesser extent those of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July)and St. Gregory (September)
Sliema also has four band clubs which take part in the parish feasts held in the summer months and are active all year round. These societies are Stella Maris Band Club (founded in 1914), The "Societa' Filarmonica SLIEMA" Band Club (founded in 1923). Mount Carmel Band Club (1987) and St. Gregory Band Club (1987).
Tas-Sliema's football club, Sliema Wanderers is the most successful on the island, having won the domestic league no less than 26 times. They recently won three championships in a row. Sliema Aquatic Sports Club (SASC) is also the leading club in water polo, winning a total of 31 leagues. The Sliema ASC club has dominated the water polo scene since 1912, collecting 31 league wins and are thus the most successful club in Malta's water polo history. Their main rivals are the Balluta Bay Side Neptunes. Sliema Aquatic Sports Club is not only a water polo club but also a swimming club from where many famous swimmers trained and also became national record holders. This is a clear indication that Sliema is a leading city in two main domestic sports on the island. Along with their upcoming young stars and immense support, there is surely more success to follow in years ahead in the Sliema football and water polo teams. Sliema is also home to the Athleta Basketball Club which is one of Malta's top basketball Club.
The 1st Sliema Scout Group (Bernard's Own) is the oldest surviving Scout Group outside the United Kingdom and was founded in 1909 by Sir Edgar Bernardth and are still a major influence on Scouting in Malta.
Over the years, the Sliema Group has collected a wealth of scouting tradition and has proudly passed this knowledge on from generation to generation.
Zones in Tas-Sliema
- Font Għadir
- Għar id-Dud
- The Strand
- Tigné Point
Tas-Sliema main roads
- Ċirku Dingli (Dingli Circus)
- Ix-Xatt (The Strand)
- Triq Bisazza (Bisazza Street)
- Triq Ċensu Xerri (Vincent Xerri Street)]
- Triq Depiro (Depiro Street)
- Triq Għar id-Dud (Ghar id-Dud Road)
- Triq il-Kbira (Main Street)
- Triq it-Torri (Tower Road)
- Triq Manwel Dimech (Manoel Dimech Street)
- Triq Rudolfu (Rodolph Street)
- Triq Sir Adrian Dingli (Sir Adrian Dingli Street)
- Triq tal-Katidral (Cathedral Street)
- Triq Nicolò Isouard (Nicolò Isouard Street)
- Triq Giorgio Borġ Olivier (Giorgio Borġ Olivier Street)
- Triq Windsor (Windsor Street)
- Xatt ta' Qui-Si-Sana (Qui-Si-Sana Waterfront)
- Xatt ta' Tigné (Tigné Waterfront)
- Pjazza Annunzjata
- Pjazza Sant'Anna
- "Estimated Population by Locality 31st March, 2014". Government of Malta. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015.
- Keena, Colm (15 September 2006). "O'Brien makes pre-flotation move to Malta". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 5 March 2015.
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