Ħal Luqa

Home

Print this page

  Ħal Luqa

Ħal Luqa is highly enriched by different stages of joy and sadness which, with different dimensions, have left their imprint on the population and their day to day life. The biggest mark of them all is undoubtedly the building of the airport, which, since its construction in 1937, has become synonymous with Ħal Luqa.

Malta’s geographical position made it possible for the Island to develop the aviation industry as early as the second decade of the last century. At the time Malta was a British colony and, as expected, the first aircrafts operating were military. Civil aircrafts appeared later during the Twenties.Until the approach of the aviation era, the city of Ħal Luqa used to be a very quiet village. Ħal Luqa was selected as one of the sites ideal for Military Airstrips.

Other airstrips were severely battered and civil operations centered on Ħal Luqa airport. This in turn helped Ħal Luqa airstrip to develop into the best Airport of Malta as it was the only one that survived after World War II.The airport brought about many advantages to Ħal Luqa. But also acted as a magnet to air raids during the Second World War. As a matter of fact, the city of Ħal Luqa was devastated and very few houses remained intact during the war. One of the buildings which were severely hit, was the present parish church. This monument, which nowadays houses several works of art, among them the titular painting by Mattia Preti (1687), was originally built in 1670, but had to be totally reconstructed between 1944 and 1962.

The construction of the airport brought to light Ħal Luqa’s antiquities as several ancient tombs and artifacts were discovered and, in some cases, destroyed under the pressure of heavy vehicles and equipment used on site for the realization of the project. The latest victim a set of Roman catacombs discovered in 1912. Luck ran out, however, as the last airport extension (in1989) made the catacombs inaccessible.

Furthermore, Ħal Luqa is also gifted with historic structures which themselves constitute landmarks to the city. First and foremost one is obliged, not without a sound reason, to insert the Parish Church of St. Andrew at the top of list of such landmarks as it is a masterpiece of art and architecture. Other landmarks include the outstanding building of St. Vincent de Paul (1862) and a wayside chapel dedicated to St. James. The former, a home for the elderly, which accommodated 600 people, is noted for the fine Sacred Heart Chapel. The latter was originally built at Hal Saflieni in one of the nearby villages in 1550 but was moved to its current site in 1613. It was last used publicly during World War II.

In the social and cultural fields, one can find quite an extensive list of organizations and club, let alone those engaged in sports activities where the game of football is predominant. But the most striking of all clubs are the two band clubs play a priceless role in the community of Ħal Luqa.

            
View Larger Map