Coat of arms
Motto: Celer Ad Oras SurgoOfficial name: Tas-Sliema Inhabitants' name: Slimiż (m), Slimiża (f), Slimiżi (pl) Other names: (code: SLM) Latitude: 35°54 '44" N Longitude: 14°30 '15" E Area: 1.3km² Population total: 13,242 Population density: 10,218/km² Borders: Gżira, St. Julian'sPatron saint: Our Lady Star of the Sea, Day of festa: August Mayor: Marina Arrigo (PN) Website: sliema-malta.com/
Sliema (or Tas-Sliema) is a town located on the northeast coast of Malta. It is a center for shopping, restaurants and café life. Sliema is also a major commercial and residential area and houses several of Malta's most modern hotels. Sliema, which means 'peace, comfort', was once a quiet fishing village on the peninsula across Marsamxett Harbour from Valletta, but now Sliema and the coastline up to neighbouring St. Julian's constitutes Malta's main coastal resort.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Population and Notable Residents
- 4 Churches
- 5 Feasts
- 6 Band Clubs
- 7 Sports
- 8 Non Profit Organisations
- 9 Zones in Sliema
- 10 Sliema Main Roads
- 11 See also
- 12 External links
Sliema got its name from a chapel dedicated to The Virgin Mary under the title of Star of the Sea, which served as a beacon and a reference point to the few fishermen who lived in that area. The name could have thus also been connected with the first words of the Hail Mary, which in Maltese is "Sliem Għalik Marija". With the 'Għ' being silent so the first part of the phrase would sound like 'Sliem a'.
Siege of Malta
At the Great Siege of 1565, il-Qortin, as it was then known, was a camp centre for Turkish troops led by Dragut. He met his fate there, having been killed by a bombardment from Fort St. Elmo at the other flank of Marsamxett Harbour, where Sliema stands. Fort Tigne was eventually developed by the Knights of St. John in the late 18th century and further developed by the British in later years.
The British period
In 1855 a new church dedicated to Our Lady Star of the Sea "Stella Maris" was built. Around the new church, the small village grew into a town. By 1878, the population grew to an extent that the religious authorities had the Stella Maris Church declared a Parish in its own right and it was separated from that of Birkirkara.
The town began to develop rapidly in the second half of the 19th century and later it became 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. The farm was eventually abandoned and in 1990, 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 handfull 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 Sliema Creek; the houses have heritage protection and the lower buildings between them and Ix-Xatt cannot be built upwards.
In 1881 the first sea water distillery on the island was erected in Sliema (to provide water to the British barracks) on the Tinge Seafront. In 1882 the distillery was decommissioned. The building still stands today and since 1882 has been occupied by a printing press. The barracks it supplied water to have since been demolished in 2001 to make way for the development of Tigne Point.
The town has a considerable number of streets named after British governors or places, such as Norfolk Street, Prince of Wales Road (which was in fact opened by Prince Albert himself when he visited the island), Windsor Terrace, Graham Street, Milner Street and Fort Cambridge among others.
Population and Notable Residents
Sliema nowadays has a great deal of turnover of foreign expatriates who reside temporarily. The town was also the residence of the late Dr. George Borg Olivier, former prime minister and architect of Malta's independence as well as the birthplace of former prime minister and leader of the opposition, Dr. Alfred Sant. Sliema is also the birthplace of Malta Labour Party Deputy Leader Dr. Michael Falzon, and vocalist Marc Storace of Swiss heavy metal band Krokus. Sliema was also the temporary residence of socialist Manwel Dimech, one of Malta's foremost revolutionary thinkers at the turn of the 20th century, who died in exile in Egypt. Lower Prince of Wales Road has now been named in his honour. It is also the birthplace of Captain George Stivala O.B.E., who was the High Commissioner for Malta in Australia during the 1950s and 60s, when migration to Australia was at its peak. Sliema is Michael Mifsud's hometown.
Sliema has a number of churches - such as one dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth known as "In-Nazzarenu" and three dedicated to Our Lady - Stella Maris (which is the oldest and Mother parish church dating from 1878) the Sacre Cuor, and Mount Carmel, and another one dedicated to St. Gregory the Great.
Like all Maltese towns and villages the annual parish feasts are very popular. Especially the feast held in honour of Our Lady Stella Maris (held in August) and that of the Sacre Cour (July) are among the most popular on the island. While to a lesser extent in popularity are those Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July) and St. Gregory (September).
Sliema has also four band clubs who take part in the parish feasts, which are held in the summer months. These societies are Stella Maris Band Club (founded in 1914), The Sliema Band Club (1923), Mount Carmel Band Club (1987) and St. Gregory Band Club (1987).
Its football club, Sliema Wanderers is the most successful on the island, having won the domestic league no less than 26 times. They won the last three championships in a row. They are also the leading club in waterpolo, winning a total of 29 leagues. 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 in the Sliema football team as well as the Sliema waterpolo team. The Sliema ASC club are the most successful club in Malta's waterpolo history. They have been dominating the waterpolo scene since 1912, managing to collect a massive 29 league wins. Their main rivals are the Balluta bay side Neptunes.
Non Profit Organisations
1st Sliema Scout Group (Bernard's Own)
The 1st Sliema Scout Group (Bernard's Own) is the oldest surviving Scout Group outside the UK. The Scout Group was founded in 1909 by Sir Edgar Bernard and in 2009 they will be celebrating their 100th Anniversary of 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 Sliema
- Dragut Point
- Font Għadir
- Għar id-Dud
- The Strand
Sliema Main Roads
- Ċirku Dingli (Dingli Circus)
- Ix-Xatt (The Strand)
- Triq Bisazza (Bisazza Street)
- Triq Ċensu Xerri (Vincent Xerri 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)
- Xatt ta' Qui-Si-Sana (Qui-Si-Sana Waterfront)
- Xatt ta' Tignè (Tignè Waterfront)
External linksv • d • eLocal councilsof Maltaand GozoMalta Island
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