An underground emergency flour mill in Mistra, which was abandoned 25 years ago, is open for public viewing for the first time since it was built by the British after the last war.

It was one of eight underground flour mills the British Colonial Office had built in the Maltese islands after World War II in case of the outbreak of another war. The idea was to ensure an adequate supply of bread should other sources of food become scarce.

The mills were built as far away as possible from the Grand Harbour and the airfields of Luqa and Ta' Qali. Their entrance faced north in order to minimise the effect of a nuclear blast coming from the harbour area in the south of Malta.

The excavation of the chambers and the silos had been open to public tender and all work was carried out by Maltese contractors who were sworn to secrecy, a spokesman for the Fondazzjoni Wirt Industrijali, which maintained the Mistra mill over the past six years, said.

Built between 1950 and 1954, the Mistra mill boasts a complete set of machinery still in good working order, notwithstanding the years of neglect it experienced.

Donation boxes are placed around the mill to raise money in aid of Id-Dar Tal-Providenza in Siggiewi.

The entrance is situated on Triq Mistra, on the way to Mellieha, about 100 metres from the former Mistra Village Hotel tennis court. Parking facilities are available nearby.

The mill is open until Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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