MALTESE TRADITIONS


- WAYSIDE CHAPELS -

A walk in the Maltese countryside will reveal a large number of chapels, which our forefathers used to frequent for their worship. Such chapels were either built by some wealthy families or by the hard work of the Maltese common people. Some of these chapels, through the years, had to make way for new development such as the Luqa Airport near what used to be Hal Farrug, while in these pages we are highlighting some of those chapels which are still in existance and are being cared for and even used for worship.



Chapel situated as Salina
limits of St. Paul's Bay.

Il-Knisja tal-Lunzjata f'Burmarrad limiti ta' San Pawl il-Bahar. Din hija wahda mill-knejjes antiki tas-seklu XVI u tinsab fis-Salini. Braun jghid li din il-knisja hija ta' l-istess zmien ta' Santa Marija tal-Maghtab. F'din il-knisja il-Kleru u l-poplu Naxxari kienu jmorru processjonalment bhala weghda fil-jum li fiha l-Knisja tfakkar l-Assunzjoni. Qabel din il-Knisja kienet taghmel parti mill-parrocca tan-Naxxar.





Chapel at Mosta
Ta' l-Isperanza

Il-Knisja filjali dedikata lill-Madonna ta' l-Isperanza tinsab ftit il boghod mill-Knisja Parrokkjali tal-Mosta, sewwasew fil-Wied imsejjah Wied il-Ghasel. Din il-knisja inbniet fis-sena 1761 u l-kwadru titulari huwa xoghol Rokku Buhagiar.

Ghal habta tas-sena 1750 certa familja mill-Mosta waqt li kienu bhas-soltu jahdmu r-raba li kellhom f'Burmarrad, raw raxxa barbari gejjin ghalihom. Dawn l-imsejjkna ma kellhomx hag'ohra x'jaghmlu hlief li jaharbu u jdabbru rashom lejn il-Mosta. X'hin kienu ghoddhom waslu l-Mosta, it-tfajla ta' xi 20 sena ghajjiena bix-xoghol, bla nifs, gharqana u lehgiena, waqfet ftit biex tistrieh, bit-Torok jigru warajha. Fejn it-triq kienet tikser, hemm ghar imghotti sewwa bit-tursin il-bir, li din malli ratu dahlet tistahba fih. It-torok malajr waslu fuq il-post u meta ma rawx iktar il-priza taghhom, issusspettaw li din setghet stahbiet f'xi ghar fl-inhawi u bdew ifittxu kullimkien anki fl-istess ghar. Izda bhal donnhu id qawwija zammithom 'l boghod. Meta t-torok raw li t-tfittxija taghhom kienet ghalxejn u bil-biza li l-Mostin johorgu ghalihom, dabbru rashom minn fejn gew. It-tfajla imbezzgha u mwerwra, damet mohbija fl-ghar u wara xi hin harget u bhala radd il-hajr lil Alla li helisha minn idejn il-barbari bla ma kienet taf kif, riedet li fuq l-istess lok, tibni knisja zghira bi flusha biex tibqa mfakkra din il-grajja. Ix-xewqa taghha sehhet u llum fuq l-ghar hemm mibnija din il-knisja li ghadha tezisti sal-lum.





Chapel at Il-Wardija
limits of St. Paul's Bay

Kappella msejjha tal-Grazzja, maghrufa wkoll bhala l-Imrieha, ghaliex tinsab miftuha hafna ghall-irjieh. Hija tinsab bejn zewg knejjes ohra li huma ta' San Gwann tal-Hereb u ta' San Xmun. Din il-knisja giet imwaqqfa min-Nobbli Luigi dei Conti Manduca bhala guspatronat tal-familja tieghu skond kif jidher mill-atti tan-Nutar Gioacchino Frendo tal-4 ta' Gunju tas-sena 1867.

Din il-knisja kienet tbierket mill-Kanonku George Caruana tal-Kattidral bhala delegat ta' l-Arcisqof Pace Forno. Aktar tard, din il-Knsija waqghet f'idejn Mons. J. Apap Bologna Navarra Cassia, Arcidjaknu tal-Kattidral.





Chapel at Wardija
limits of St. Paul's Bay

Villa Gauci tinsab fil-bidu tal-Wardija. Ghandha dehra ta' Kastell antik medjevali u maghha hemm gnien kbir hafna u knisja li hija ddeddikata lil San Xmun Appostlu. Din il-Knisja inbniet fil-villa tal-baruni Gauci. Inbniet mill-Gran Mastru Perellos meta bena' l-villa jew kastell. Din hija ta' stil gotiku u l-festa ta' dan il-qaddis issir f'Awissu.

Din il-Knisja kienet ilha maghluqa sa mill-ahhar gwerra. Il-patrijiet biex jaqdu lill-popolin tal-Wardija, li kellu l-boghod mill-eqreb knisja, kienu qed juzaw lok iehor; imma hawn sabu wisq ostakli li sahansitra kellhom iwaqqfu l-hidma taghhom. Imma bis-sahha ta' l-Avukat Alexander de Piro Gurgion, il-Kappillan Patri Samuel Chetcuti qaddes fiha koncelebrazzjoni nhar il-Gimgha, 10 ta' Jannar 1975.

Fil-vista pastorali l-Isqof Cagliares ipprofanaha. L-art li nbniet fuqha kienet tissejjah l-Andar ta' San Xmun u tinsab fl-inhawi ta' Gnien il-Qinc, fil-Wardija. Il-kwadru ewlieni ta' San Xmun gie mpingi minn Salvu Micallef.






Chapel at Mosta
San Pawl tat-Targa

Skond it-tradizzjoni din il-Knisja tinsab fil-lok imsejjah tat-Targa, fejn lehen San Pawl, waqt li kien qed jippriedka, wasal sa' Ghawdex. L-Ghawdxin migbudin minn din l-istedina stra-ordinarja, gew Malta u kkonvertew mill-priedki ta' San Pawl u rcevew il-Maghmudija.

Fuq il-Knisja hemm bhal Kampnar f'qanpiena zghira fuqu, li saret fl-1871 xoghol Gulju Cauchi u wliedhu. Il-Kleru u l-poplu tan-Naxxar kienu ghamlu weghda illi jmorru processjonalment fit-tieni hadd ta' Mejju. L-Arcipriet Dun Pawl Said rega' ta l-hajja lil din it-tradizzjoni, imma peress li din il-knisja kienet giet taht il-kura tal-Markiz John Scicluna, li kien benefattur kbir taghha, din il-processjoni ma baqghetx issir.

Il-kwadru tat-titular huwa xoghol Frangisk Zahra u gie mhallas mill-familji Bugeja u Schembri. Zahra pitter ukoll zewg kwadri ohra ovali li jinsabu hdejn it-titular u juri lil San Gwann l-Ghammiedi u lil San Pietru fil-habs. Taht it-titular hemm kwadru iehor li juri lil Madonna tal-Bon Kunsill. Dan tal-ahhar tqieghed fil-genb tal-artal biex floku sar it-tabernaklu. Insibu wkoll zewg statwi: San Guda Taddeo u Santa rita li thallsu mill-Markiz John Scicluna. Quddiem din il-Knisja hemm statwa li turi lil San Pawl jippriedka.





Chapel at Naxxar
Tal-Maghtab

Il-Knisja ta' Santa Marija tal-Maghtab inbniet fis-seklu XVIII mill-gbir tad-devoti fuq il-lok ta' ohra li antikament kienet twaqqghet. Mons Dusina fl-1575 u l-Isqof Cagliares fl-1616, fil-vizti pastorali taghhom, xehdu l-qedem taghha. Fiz-zmien kien wiehed mis-santwarji l-iktar devoti tal-Madonna.

Skond it-tradizzjoni, wiehed bidwi bena' din il-knisja bhala weghda. L-istorja tghid li waqt li dan il-bidwi kien qed isuq il-baghal b'karrettun mghobbi b'xi haxix flimkien ma' ibnu z-zghir, li kien riekeb fuq il-karrettun, dal-bidwi ghal xi raguni halla t-tifel u l-baghal wahedhom. Il-baghal x'hin sab ruhu minghajr sidu, harab bit-tifel b'kollox. Meta l-bidwi irritorna lura u ma sabx il-baghal ghamel weghda dak il-hin li jekk isibhom jibni knisja fejn kien halla l-bhima. Il-bidwi gera' kemm felah biex isihom mar-rahal kollu u b'ghageb kbir sabu wieqaf mat-triq, fejn hemm il-Knisja llum. Ir-rahhal meta ra li l-Madonna kienet waqfet mieghu, wettaq il-weghda li ghamel u bena dik il-knisja.

Din il-knisja hija zghira u semplici hafna. Ghandha saqaf nofs tond imserrah fuq l-arkati. Fuq ix-xellug hemm daqsxejn ta' sagristija li tidhol ghaliha minn bieb zghir magenb l-artal. Il-faccata hija semplici, rurali b'daqsxejn ta' bieb fin-nofs. Ghandha artal fil-genb bi kwadru li juri t-tlugh ta' Santa Marija fis-sema ... pittura semplici imma antika hafna.






Chapel at l/o Mgarr Malta
Tal-Iter

A chapel dedicated to our Lady of the Way, a fairly common dedication in the seventeenth century. The chapel was built in 1681, and is but one of many small chapels that dot the Maltese countryside. I'm sitting on the doorstep enjoying the February sun!










Chapel at Qrendi
Tal-Maqluba

Il-Maqluba u l-folklor taghha ......

kitba ta' J. C. Camilleri

 

Hemm diversi postijiet f'Malta u Ghawdex li ghandhom wirt folkloristiku  aktar minn postijiet ohra. Fil-Qrendi hemm kappella dedikata lil San Mattew u zona maghrufa bhala Tal-Maqluba li hemm marbutin maghhom leggendi u hafna ghajdut kif ukoll xi drawwiet tipikament Maltin.

Skond xi nies, il-kappella z-zghira  ta' San Mattew tal-Maqluba kienet it-tieni jekk mhux l-ewwel wahda  li nbniet f'malta wara li l-Musulmani kienu mkeccija minn Malta mill-Konti Ruggieru. Tajjeb nghidu li skond il-folklor Malti, u mhux skond l-istorja ta' Malta, li kien il-Konti Ruggieru li kecca 'l Gharab minn Malta.

Din il-kappella hija mibnija fix-xifer nett ta' hofra kbira maghrufa bhala l-Maqluba. Il-Kappella hi maghuda ma' kappella ikbar minnha, li nbniet fl-1674 u dedikata lill-istess qaddis. Ta' min jghid li l-kappella z-zghira hija tant zghira li takkomoda biss madwar tmien persuni. Din ghandha stil ta' arkitettura uniku li ftit li xejn hi maghrufa.

Leggenda

Vicin il-Kappella hemm il-Maqluba. Skond xi nies fl-imghoddi hafna, kien hemm rahal minflok din il-hofra - rahal zghir. F'dan ir-rahal kienu jghixu niex ta' hajja xellerata. Fost dawn in-nies kien hemm wahda mara xiha li ma kienetx bhar-rahhala l-ohra: tghix hajja xellerata izda kienet tghix hajja tajba, billi taqla' l-ghajxien taghha permezz ta' l-insig.

Din ta' spiss kienet twissi lil dawn in-nies li Alla ghad jikkastigahom  jekk jibqghu jghixu  fil-hazen taghhom. Ghid illum  u ghid ghada, kliem ix-xiha kien kollu ghalxejn. In-nies xorta wahda baqghu jghixu hajja fil-hazen.

Jum wiehed inhasset thezziza kbira fl-art u r-rahal kollu barra din il-kappella z-zghira, nqaleb ta' taht fuq, bit-terremot li kien ghamel. Dan it-terrremot sehh waqt li kienet sejra maltempata qalila, li skond xi nies grat fl-24 ta' Novembru 1343.

Fatti tal-Maqluba

Inhallu xi ftit l-aspett folkloristiku u mmorru ghall-fatti. Huwa minnu li l-Maqluba hu fattur geografiku li huwa uniku ghall-gzejjer Maltin. Izda dan il-fattur naturali jinsab ukoll f'xi pajjizi ohra. Hemm uhud li huma tal-fehma li aktarx qabel ma sfrundat l-art kien jezisti ghar kbir. Jum wiehed il-wicc ceda, u wesgha art sfrundat u b'hekk saret hofra kbira li tista' takkomoda knisja kbira - nghidu ahna daqs il-Knisja tal-Mosta.

Id-diametru tal-Maqluba huwa ta' 100 jarda waqt li l-fond hu madwar  100 pied. Il-qiegh tal-Maqluba huwa mimli  b'sigar kbar. Xi whud  minn dawn is-sigar huma tal-frott. Insibu wkoll is-sigra tal-Gharghar. Dinis-sigra hija s-sigra nazzjonali taghna l-Maltin u tinsab tikn\ber fl-inhawi tal-Afrika ta' fuq, mill-Marokk sal-Lvant.

Il-Kappella l-Kbira

L-unika haga li m'hemmx xi drawwa leggenda jew ghajdut dawrha hija l-kappella l-kbira ta' San Mattew. Forsi ghaliex inbniet aktar ricenti? Min jaf ghaliex?


Din il-kappella ghandha kwadru titulari ta' Mattia Preti u nbniet bi spejjez tal-Kmandant Franciz Nicolo Cummunet fl-1688. Fuq il-pittura ta' Preti hemm il-kliem:  "L-Appostlu u Evangelista San Mattew bid-daqqa ta' lanza sofra l-martirju waqt li kien qed iqaddes."

Imnarja ohra

Fil-festa ta' San Mattew li skond il-kalendarju tal-Knisja ssir fil-21 ta' Settembru kienet issir festa tipikament maltija. Fost hwejjeg ohra kien ikun hemm fiera. Izda sa minn lejlietha, nies minn Malta kollha - l-izjed mill-inhawi tal-Qrendi, Zurrieq, Hal Safi, Hal Kirkop u s-Siggiewi - kienu jingabru taht is-sigar tal-harrub: jghannu,  jieklu u jdoqqu.

Illum l-istorja nbidlet xi ftit. Billi l-Qrendi ghandhu zewg kazini tal-Banda, il-festa tal-Maqluba  jaghmluha darba kazin u darba kain iehor, l-istess haga kif isir fil-festa tal-Madonna tal-Hniena li l-kappella taghha tinsab fil-Qrendi. Fil-Knisja ssir quddiesa kantata u filghodu jkun hemm it-tberik tal-annimali. Haga stramba ghaliex it-tberik ta' l-annimali hu marbut jew ma' Sant'Antnin jew ma' San Giljan. Forsi  ghaliex dawn l-inhawi huma marbutin mar-rabta li ssir din ic-cerimonja. Filghaxija jkun hemm il-banda u xo loghob tan-nar.


Referenza:

Anon, San Mattew tal-Maqluba Qrendi, il-mument 22 ta' Settembru 1991

Grazzi wkoll lil Ms M.A. Camilleri mill-Qrendi li tatna xi taghrif.












Chapel at Zurrieq
Tal-Annunziata

The most important edifice of Hal Millieri was, and still is, the Chapel dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This church was constructed around A.D. 1480 on the same site of an earlier one that was built in the thirteenth century. The large blocks of masonry that were utilized for the base of the earlier church came from a nearby Roman building and it may be presumed that even the big Roman olive pipper, presently on the ’zuntier’ of St. John’s church, also came from the same site.

The original church was decorated with frescoes and was, more or less, of the same size and pattern of the present one. People, as it was the custom in those days, used to be buried inside the church.

The present church of the Annunciation is the best preserved example of a medieval church in Malta and contains its finest medieval wall paintings. Entrance is down three steps from the ’zuntier’ to a floor below ground level. It measures 5.2 meters in width by 7.3 meters in length, the latter being divided into five bays by pointed arches arising from wall piers. A characteristic low stone bench is constructed between the piers and by the main door. The exterior walls are of cut and faced stone blocks regularly laid but the interior walls are rudely constructed with rubble which is faced with smoothly finished plaster.

With the exception of the apse all walls are covered with murals. The main doorway was originally low and arched, subsequently it was heightened and cut into a rectangular shape.

Adjacent to this chapel once stood the "Visitation" Church which was erected towards the end of the fifteenth century. Following its deconsecration in 1667 by archbishop Balaguer it was pulled down.

The church of secolo Norman style, was rented out in 1968 for a Lm1 a year to be used as stable for the animals.  Thanks to the association of Din l-art helwa (The fair land) by Dr M. Carauana Curran this has now been restored to reveal several magnificent frescoes depicting medieval cults. Rubble and soil covered this area for centuries until the clean-ups and excavations, recently carried out, brought to light the flagstone floor, parts of the wall and half of the apse.



The Frescoes

The series of paintings that cover all the walls of the Annunciation Chapel constitute a precious example of fifteenth century Maltese art. They seem to have come from the Byzantinesque frescoes of Southeast Sicily.

The discovery of an earlier church that also contained frescoes indicates that these fifteenth century paintings were derived from the pre-existing ones of the thirteenth century chapel.

The painter may have been a Sicilian by the name of "Garinu" whose signature was discovered below the surface of the St.Agatha and St.Blaise panel. Although the paintings appear so colourful the artist employed a limited number of colours derived from earthen material. The paintings were executed in the fresco technique (in use between 1250 and 1550) and each fresco was completed in one day’s work - excepting the two St. Georges.

At the heart of Malta’s religious history, the Hal Millieri Holy Images reproduce those saints to whom the Maltese churches were dedicated before the sixteenth century.

The selection of the saints reflects an archaic pattern of devotion; all of them had been venerated for many centuries and their emblems represent outdated models. This further stresses the supposition that they were a replica of the previous chapel’s frescoes. The inscriptions are in very angular gothic letters which help us to identify the saints. These, apart from the two St. Georges by the entrance, consist of: (starting on the left) St.Vincent, St.John and St.Lawrence St. James, St. Andrew, St. Nicholas then to the right St. Leonard, St.Agatha and St.Blaise, St.Augustine and St Paul.

Professoressa Paola Zanolini restored these frescoes in 1974 whilst two of them have been fully detached and reapplied to panels.

15th Century fresco of St. Nicholas



[ MALTESE TRADITIONS ]

[ MALTESE TREES ]
[ MALTESE FLORA ]
[ MALTESE GIRNA - Maltese Corbelled Stone Huts ]
[ HITAN TAS-SEJJIEH - rubble walls ]
[ GOOD FRIDAY PROCESSIONS ]
[ LAY CONFRATERNITIES ]
[ TRADIZZJONIJIET U TWEMMIN TAR-RANDAN ]
[ IL-MAQLUBA - QRENDI ]


MALTA RAILWAY


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last modified: February 1999