As we walked through the gates of Valetta city I was impressed with the modern design of the enormous and fabulous building that rose up in front of me, what an effect it has on one! We walked over the beautifully paved floor toward a couple of chairs and tables and drank our coffee while taking in the view, it was very pleasing to the eye, first of all the gate itself which you come to by crossing over a bridge, looking down into the ancient surrounds of the city, I felt dwarfed walking through the gates, and then this unusual building on stilts, façade covered in Limestone (sourced from the island of Gozo). I read that the architect of this building, which by the way is the new Parliament building, was Renzo Piano, an Italian architect and engineer, who has designed some other wonderful buildings and projects, among them the Paul Klee Centre in Bern, Switzerland. The building of the Parliament House was part of the City Gate Project, it also included the open air theatre. The stone which was cut in Italy was perfectly smooth and sharply angular. I just loved it, it enticed the eye upwards where the honey coloured construction made a perfect line against the blue sky. What an entrance to a city, I don’t think I have ever seen something like this before.
On the way out of the city, Ian drew my attention to the stone slabs on the floor of the square – I was still looking up – and what we saw there delighted us too, fossils on every single slab, beautifully smoothed to a perfectly shiny surface, but clearly visible.
I’ve added some photos but I don’t think they do justice to the experience one is treated to when actually there, still it is a try.
I got to thinking about these huge structures, the massive high walls made of stone, the amazing way the stone is held together and the buildings are engineered, and I must admit that they give me a feeling of being protected, against what – I do not know, and why we build such huge structures I know even less, I only now realise that they can have a good effect on one, I noticed it at first while we were in Budapest recently and the solid buildings made me feel more grounded, maybe it is something personal, maybe I am in nature so much of the time that I literally disappear in the landscape, maybe a little bit of being among huge man made structure is good for one too. Who knows, all I realise is that it has a good effect on me and for that right now I am very grateful.