A Din l-Art Ħelwa volunteer will lead a 90-minute tour of the Msida Bastion Historic Garden today at 10am. Tomorrow the garden will be open to the public from 9.30am to noon.

The garden served as Malta’s main Protestant cemetery from 1806 to 1856. At least 528 people were buried there, mainly British servicemen, officials and businessmen and their families, some of whose descendants still live in Malta today, as well as some Maltese, including Mikiel Anton Vassalli, known as the father of the Maltese language.

The cemetery contains many marble headstones and funerary monuments as well as indigenous and exotic trees, some of which are 200 years old.

It was restored by Din l-Art Ħelwa in collaboration with government ministries and the British High Commission over a 10-year period between the 1980s and 1990s, and was awarded the Silver Medal by Europa Nostra in 2002. In 2004, a small Museum of Maltese Burial Practices was opened adjacent to the garden.

During today’s event, the tour guide will recount stories regarding duels, suicides, heroism and explain the funeral and military architecture, symbols of death.

Tomorrow, Din l-Art Ħelwa volunteers will also be available to guide visitors around the garden. There will also be a bric-a-brac section selling used books and plants  and Din l-Art Ħelwa publications. 

The garden is located in Vincenzo Dimech Street, Floriana (further in from the Grand Hotel Excelsior and the central public library). Participation in the tour is limited to 20 adults, and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. A donation of €5 per person, including the entrance ticket, tour, tea/coffee/soft drinks/biscuits will be requested. For bookings, e-mail wardengor@gmail.com. Entrance to the garden tomorrow is free but donations to go towards the maintenance of the garden will be appreciated.

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us