Copyright The Malta Historical Society, 2005.

Source: Melita Historica. [Malta Historical Society]. 6(1972)1(101)

[p.101] ALFIE GUILLAUMIER: Bliet uRħula Maltin. Progress Press, Malta, 1971, 265 pp., illus., biblio., introduction by J. Galea.

The history of the Maltese towns and villages is part of our national heritage. Different villages grew up as a result of gradual settlements in different parts of the island, at first mostly within the southern area nearer the Grand Harbour. Moreover the Maltese village or rahal has various characteristics which indicate that it was always considered to be the centre of civic and religious life especially for the peasants and lower classes. Some villages, such as Siggiewi and Zebbug, grew up because of the rich fertile grounds around them while others because of traditional local trades. The development of ancient fortified places as Mdina and the origins of walled cities as Valletta and Senglea are also certainly worth studying.

In the history of each town or village, the author gives information about the growth of its population, the origin of its names, historical details about the parish church, smaller churches and chapels, public institutions including the building of schools and hospitals, towers and fortifications and archaeological remains. The coat of arms and the motto of each place except Birzebbugia, Lija, Marsa, Mdina, Mgarr, Rabat, San Pawl il-Bahar, Santa Venera and Marsascala, are given though their origin is not explained.

This book could be helpful to all those interested in local history and especially to teachers who may wish to deal with aspects connected with environmental studies.

C.G.S.