An article titled Malta’s secret tunnels: inside the newly discovered underworld of Valletta was published today in The Guardian. The piece chronicled the newspaper’s visit to Valletta and their guided tour through some of Valletta’s subterranean spaces.
The article skims through the city’s historical background, describing Valletta’s story from the Great Siege to Game of Thrones, as well as it’s recent urban and cultural developments, including the transformation of City Gate and the Capital of Culture title.
It also discusses how living in Valletta has been affected by these developments: “It is a rapidly changing [city]. As Malta urbanises and rents rise drastically, many citizens are being pushed to the suburbs.”
One thing’s for sure, the city’s cultural revival has brought with it increased international attention. But the very subject of the article – Valletta’s underground system – still remains largely unknown to the general public.
Sylvana Meli, 57, spoke to the reporters about her parents’ experience using the shelters during wartime: “Coming out alive was a rebirth. That makes us all children of the underground. Everyone who doesn’t know about what lies right beneath our feet here in Valletta should know that.”
The article sheds light on desires to make Valletta’s subterranean spaces more available to the public. Like any other decision connected with the capital, this would surely be met with some controversy. But right now layers of Valletta’s history are buried, and inaccessible for most. It will be interesting to see whether or not the stories of its underground past will come to light for everyone to experience.
For those of you who do want to experience subterranean Valletta, the NGO Valletta Underground will be hosting an event around some obscure underground spaces on the 28th March – which is Valletta’s birthday. You can find more information on this event on their Facebook Page.