Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Malta Regional Market Center > Blog > The Maltese Wooden Balconies

The Maltese Wooden Balconies

                                                             by Juanita Busuttil

The Maltese balconies have been part of our architectural history for many years.  These balconies have always impressed me, even as a child.  Their vibrant colours make the streets look impressive.  Bright blue, green, red and turquoise are a few of the beautiful balcony colour’s one can see decorating the façade of our houses and making our roads look beautiful and unique.

The original Maltese Balconies were 1st built in traditional open stone, however, sometime in the 1670s, the balconies were covered in wood.  This was done to allow the Grand Master to look out of the balcony and spy on the people.  So, the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta is the 1st recorded covered balcony.  It is said that these balconies first originated from North Africa.       


Since then, the Maltese Balcony, known locally as Gallarija Maltija, became a common feature on Maltese Town houses in Valletta and later all over the island and are still very much part of the local life.  Initially, these balconies were painted green, however, along the years they have become as colourful as the locals. These enclosed balconies have become an icon of the Maltese Identity and have frequently found themselves to be the centrepiece of photos and paintings by both locals and tourists, including one by Jacqui Aguis as seen below

- Jacqui Agius.jpg

Valletta, a city of many balconies where one can find a place untouched by centuries. Here the architectural style is a symphony of warm reflected light and colour - what more could I ask for? – Jacqui Aguis ARTIST

Most of the old terraced houses and town houses boast one of these beautiful colourful balconies and anyone that acquires such a property will also be purchasing a part of our island’s history.  Due to the fact that these balconies are made of wood they may require maintenance, restoring and in some extreme cases would also need to be replaced. For this reason, the government issued several schemes in order to help with their maintenance- the financial help differs depending on the location of the property.

Do you own a house with a typical Maltese Balcony. If so, write to us and tell us your experience of living in an old town house. We would love to hear from you.

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