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When Military Engineer Francesco Laparelli was sent by Pope Pius V to help Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Vallette by designing the plans for the building of the City of Valletta, just after the Great Seige of Malta in 1565, he was faced with the biggest problem of all… Mount Xebb ir-Ras, a peninsula jutting out into the sea to form Marsamuscetto Harbour to the North-West and the Grand Harbour to the South-East was an un even piece of ground which had a total area of just 0.8 sq. km (0.3 sq miles). To utilise as much of the available ground as possibile, Laparelli designed the streets all parallel to and crossing each other in the form of a grid, thus making Valletta the first City in Europe to be built off a drawing board. All buildings were not allowed to jut out into the street and front Gardens and spaces between houses were forbidden. Most buildings were erected at least two storeys high with some as high as five storeys. This created a great problem for housewives (like the lady in the picture with clothes-pegs in her mouth) who wanted space to dry their washing . Many could not use the rooftops, so front balconies had to be used as an alternative place.


  • Jadon
    Jadonover 5 years ago

    Superb, well spotted Anthony.

  • Thank you Jason. I only had a few seconds before the Lady saw me. It was one of my quickest shots ever.

    – Anthony Vella

  • Ellen van Deelen
    Ellen van Deelenover 5 years ago

    This does remind me of Valletta…..Very beautiful photo Tony!
    Is the weather still so warm?

  • Hi Ellen. The weather’s playing up now. Last week was still hot. To-day’s the temperature is about 32C and it has rained this morning. I do hope the weather holds up a bit or else it will ruin the procession of the Feast of Our Lady of Graces later on this evening. It is the last Feast of the season celebrated in my home town, the City of Zabrar. Thank you for your visit and kind coment my friend.

    – Anthony Vella

  • Irene  Burdell
    Irene Burdellover 5 years ago

    Great history Anthony and shot . x

  • Hi Irene. So glad you like this candid picture. Looks like the lady in the picture had quite a lot of washing to do, and little space, but I think she reserved her favourite spot for her purple underwear. Thank you for your kind visit and comment.

    – Anthony Vella

  • rasnidreamer
    rasnidreamerover 5 years ago

    WooHoo!! I love it! I love your history lesson as well. Those poor women! Laundry day can be tough under any circumstance much less having to wonder where to dry them! Believe it or not—-I still like to hang my clothes outside! XXSUEXX

  • Hi Sue. Pleased to know you like both picture and narrative my friend. Appreciate your kind comment too.

    – Anthony Vella

  • Gilberte
    Gilberteover 5 years ago

    Hello Tony…you stayed away a long time…to take the photo of your new avatar? It’s a good one though I have every time to get used to the new Tony!!
    Very good shot..ah the indiscrete photographers…of course you spotted the purple, your favorite colour.

  • Ciao Betty. It was not my new avatar which kept me away form Redbubble for so long. Apart from the sudden malfunction of my best lens, and the searching for and purchasing of a new one, I had quite a lot of other domestic things to sort out first. The recent hot weather did not help much and having family guests at home from the UK with us for two weeks did not leave me much time for visiting Redbubble. But I sure missed my you all my friends. Well here I am again now, and hope to catch up. Thanks for your concern and your kind comment of my work my dear friend.

    – Anthony Vella

  • Mark Grech
    Mark Grechover 5 years ago

    Nicely done my friend

  • Thank you Mark. Your kind comment is greatly appreciated my friend.

    – Anthony Vella

  • Marvin Collins
    Marvin Collinsover 5 years ago

    Excellent image Tony!!

  • Thank a lot Marvin my old friend.

    – Anthony Vella

  • debsphotos
    debsphotosover 5 years ago

    Hi Tony…great to see you again…as if doing the washing is’nt bad enough!! lol…makes me appreciate my ‘space’!!Great image and info!!*-)

  • Hi Deb. Thanks for your welcome. Appreciate your kind comment my friend.

    – Anthony Vella

  • nadine henley
    nadine henleyover 4 years ago

    great shot! please consider adding it our Wash Day group!

  • Thank you Nadine. Will do.

    – Anthony Vella

  • tcat757
    tcat757over 4 years ago

  • Thanks tcat….the pleasure’s all mine.

    – Anthony Vella

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