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MARSASKALA (M'Skala, Maltese : Wied il-Għajn), sometimes spelt MARSASCALA (M'Scala), is a sea-side village in the South Eastern Region of Malta
Malta
that has grown around the small harbour at the head of Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Bay , a long narrow inlet also known as Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Creek. The bay is sheltered to the north by Ras iż-Żonqor, the south-east corner of Malta, and to the south by the headland of Ras il-Gżira.

The parish church is dedicated to Sant Anna ( St. Anne ) and St. Anne's feast is celebrated at the end of July in Marsaskala.

The town has a winter population of 12,134 people (as of March 2014), but swells to around 20,000 in summer.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology * 2 History * 3 Government * 4 Geography * 5 Sports

* 6 International relations

* 6.1 Twin towns - sister cities

* 7 Marsaskala
Marsaskala
main roads * 8 References * 9 External links

ETYMOLOGY

Different opinions exist regarding the origin of the name Marsaskala. While it is commonly agreed that Marsa is an Arabic word meaning bay, Skala has given rise to different interpretations. It could have been derived from Sqalli (Sicilian) for Marsaskala
Marsaskala
was frequented by Sicilian fishermen since Malta
Malta
is just 60 miles (97 km) south from Sicily
Sicily
. Maybe it was derived from the Sicilian 'Piccola Cala' meaning little inlet or it was just a reference to some rock-cut steps on the water's edge since scala also means a straight flight of steps.

Marsaskala
Marsaskala
is better known as Wied il-Għajn by the Maltese as the bay and the old small village are flanked by two valleys, through which a spring of fresh water used to flow down into the innermost bay. Wied means valley and Għajn (pronounced ayn) refers to the spring of fresh water. Literally, Wied il-Għajn means Valley of the Spring.

HISTORY

Saint Thomas Tower Mamo Tower
Mamo Tower
Casa Monita in Marsaskala, located close to the parish church and Briconet Redoubt
Briconet Redoubt

Man inhabited this area thousands of years ago as evidenced by the several archaeological remains found in various areas of Marsaskala. Its Pre-history
Pre-history
is normally divided in the Neolithic
Neolithic
period and the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
. Some of the most ancient remains at Marsaskala
Marsaskala
are undoubtedly the cart-ruts, which are parallel channels formed in the rock face. Some of Malta's cart-ruts, mysteriously, lead straight into the sea. Difficulties and uncertainties still abound as regards their use as well as the time and the way they were made, though it seems that they served to transport heavy burdens from one place to another.

Early Christian
Christian
catacombs as well as Roman era
Roman era
villa remains, were also discovered in Marsaskala, the latter suggesting that Marsaskala was also a Roman port. Remains of Roman Baths were found in a field at il-Gżira, a rock peninsula behind the Jerma Palace Hotel.

In 1614, 60 Turkish ships carrying 6000 soldiers landed at Marsaskala and launched an attack on the south of Malta
Malta
. Although the battle was a decisive Christian
Christian
victory, it brought back fear and terrifying memories of the 1565 Great Siege of Malta
Malta
. Marsaskala's vulnerability to sea borne attacks was reduced by the building of Saint Thomas Tower later in that same year. The tower was financed by Grandmaster Alof de Wignacourt and it is one of a series of Wignacourt towers . St Thomas Tower continued to be used for military purposes until the 19th century and it has been recently restored.

In 1659, Żonqor Tower , one of 13 De Redin towers was built in the area. This tower was demolished in 1915 by British military engineers. No traces of it can be seen anymore and a pillbox now stands in its place. Marsaskala
Marsaskala
has various other towers, but these were built privately by wealthy residents as fortified houses. These include Mamo Tower , Tal-Buttar Tower and Tal-Gardiel Tower .

In 1715, Briconet Redoubt
Briconet Redoubt
was built by the Order and it is now well preserved and is used as a police station. A second redoubt was built close to Marsaskala
Marsaskala
but it was destroyed in 1915.

In 1882, the British built Żonqor Battery but it was not used a lot since it was unsuitable for proper defence.

In 2003, U.S. amateur pseudo-archaeologist Bob Cornuke caused a controversy with sweeping statements written in his book The Lost Shipwreck of St. Paul, where he claimed that the Apostle Paul had been shipwrecked in St Thomas\' Bay , in Marsaskala. His claim was never confirmed and discredited by those related in the field, though St. Thomas Bay (and simultaneously several bays in the Mediterranean) matches the limited description found in the 27th chapter of the book of Acts: a sandy beach, rocky shoreline, deep water (about 90 foot depth) relatively close to shore, and the discovery of four identical Roman Era ship anchors found in the bay during the 1960s, now in the Malta
Malta
Maritime Museum .

As a monument over the more recent Maltese history are the remains of the previous four-star Corinthia Jerma Palace Hotel at the very tip of mainland Ras il-Gżira. The hotel was owned by Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company for 25 years and was closed in March 2007.

GOVERNMENT

The first council in Marsaskala
Marsaskala
was formed in April 1994. The first village mayor was also Malta's first female mayor, Marvic Attard Gialanze.

The main issue in this election was the controversial proposal of the building of a new waste recycling plant and a number of biogas tanks in Sant' Antnin Valley. This development is being challenged by a committee composed of seven Labour-led local councils (including Marsaskala) and eight local non-government organisations. The matter has been raised in the European Parliament
European Parliament
.

The former President George Abela , the former Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and two Labour Members of Parliament, Dr Owen Bonnici and Dr Helena Dalli live in the Marsaskala
Marsaskala
area, as does the leader of the defunct party Azzjoni Nazzjonali , Josie Muscat .

GEOGRAPHY

St Thomas Bay

The town of Marsaskala
Marsaskala
is located in the south east of Malta, around the small harbour at the head of Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Bay, a long narrow inlet also known as Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Creek. The bay is sheltered to the north by Ras iż-Żonqor, the south-east corner of Malta, and to the south by the headland of Ras il-Gżira.

The town itself is located along both sides of the bay, and across most of Il-Ħamrija, a creek leading to Il-Ponta tal-Gzira. The shore north of Ras iż-Żonqor is of low cliffs, with shelving rock ledges south of the point. Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Bay is largely edged by promenade, with low shelving rock ledges cut with salt pans on the seaward face of Ras iċ-Ċerna, which continue on round the eastern point, past l-Abjad iż-Żgħir, and into Il-Bajja ta' San Tumas (St Thomas Bay) to the south.

SPORTS

The main sports in Marsaskala
Marsaskala
are football and waterpolo. Marsaskala F.C. are Malta's newest football club. Founded in 2010, they won promotion in 2013 and currently play in the MFA Second Division.

Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Sports Club, founded in 1927, and re-founded in 1974 is one of the oldest waterpolo clubs in Malta. Having languished in the second division for many years, Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Sports Club established themselves as one of Malta's top teams in the mid-nineties. In 1997 they were crowned Malta
Malta
champions, the only season the trophy was won by a club from southern Malta. They have represented Malta
Malta
in the Ligue Européenne de Natation
Ligue Européenne de Natation
(LEN) Trophy in Chios
Chios
, Greece
Greece
in 1997 and the European Champions Cup in 1998 in Ústí nad Labem
Ústí nad Labem
, Czech Republic , becoming the first Maltese team to win two European Champions Cup matches, against Swiss champions Horgen
Horgen
and the hosts themselves.

Several Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Sports Club products have also played with distinction in the national team, amongst of which were Charles Flask , Alfred Xuereb il-Yogi, Charles Żammit, Joseph Caruana Dingli, Anton Privitera, Paul Privitera and John Licari. Both Joseph Caruana Dingli and Paul Privitera have also captained the Malta
Malta
national team on many occasions.

Marsaskala
Marsaskala
was also the venue of the 2005 European Eight-ball
Eight-ball
Pool Championships and the European Darts Championships, both held at the Jerma Palace Hotel.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Malta
Malta

TWIN TOWNS - SISTER CITIES

Marsaskala
Marsaskala
is a member of Douzelage .

Marsaskala
Marsaskala
is a member of the Douzelage , a unique town twinning association of 24 towns across the European Union
European Union
. This active town twinning began in 1991 and Marsaskala
Marsaskala
joined in 2009. There are regular events, such as a produce market from each of the other countries and festivals.

Agros , Cyprus
Cyprus
- 2011 Altea , Spain
Spain
- 1991 Bad Kötzting , Germany
Germany
- 1991 Bellagio , Italy
Italy
- 1991 Bundoran , Ireland - 1991 Chojna , Poland
Poland
- 2004 Granville , France
France
- 1991 Holstebro
Holstebro
, Denmark
Denmark
- 1991 Houffalize , Belgium
Belgium
- 1991 Judenburg
Judenburg
, Austria
Austria
- 1999 Karkkila
Karkkila
, Finland
Finland
- 1997 Kőszeg
Kőszeg
, Hungary
Hungary
- 2004 Meerssen
Meerssen
, the Netherlands
Netherlands
- 1991 Niederanven , Luxembourg
Luxembourg
- 1991 Oxelösund
Oxelösund
, Sweden
Sweden
- 1998 Preveza , Greece
Greece
- 1991 Prienai , Lithuania
Lithuania
- 2008 Sesimbra
Sesimbra
, Portugal
Portugal
- 1991 Sherborne , United Kingdom
United Kingdom
- 1991 Sigulda , Latvia
Latvia
- 2004 Siret
Siret
, Romania
Romania
- 2010 Škofja Loka
Škofja Loka
, Slovenia
Slovenia
- 2011 Sušice
Sušice
, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
- 2004 Tryavna
Tryavna
, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
- 2011 Türi , Estonia
Estonia
- 2004 Zvolen
Zvolen
, Slovakia
Slovakia
- 2007

MARSASKALA MAIN ROADS

* Triq Ħaż- Żabbar
Żabbar
(Zabbar Road) * Triq id-Daħla ta' San Tumas (St Thomas Bay Road) * Triq il-Qaliet (Qaliet Street) * Triq is-Salini (Salini Street) * Triq ix-Xatt (Marina Street) * Triq iż-Żonqor (Zonqor Road) * Triq La Sengle (La Sengle Street) * Triq San Ġużepp (St Joseph Street) * Triq San Luqa (St Luke Street) * Triq Sant' Anna (St Anne Street) * Triq Sant' Antnin (Sant' Antnin Road) * Triq Tal-Gardiel (Tal-Gardiel Road)

REFERENCES

* ^ "Estimated Population by Locality 31st March, 2014". Government of Malta
Malta
. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015. * ^ Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Parish * ^ Guillaumier, Alfie (2005). Bliet u Rħula Maltin. Klabb Kotba Maltin. pp. 961–962. ISBN 99932-39-40-2 . * ^ Jaccarini, C. J. (2002). "Il-Muxrabija, wirt l-Iżlam fil-Gżejjer Maltin" (PDF). L-Imnara (in Maltese). Rivista tal-Għaqda Maltija tal-Folklor. 7 (1): 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2016. * ^ Azzopardi, Joe (April 2012). "A Survey of the Maltese Muxrabijiet" (PDF). Vigilo. Valletta: Din l-Art Helwa (41): 30. ISSN 1026-132X . Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2015. * ^ Spiteri, Stephen C. "St. Thomas Tower and Battery". Military Architecture. Retrieved 31 August 2014. * ^ "Protection Granted to a Further 29 Buildings and Sites". MEPA. Retrieved 31 August 2014. * ^ "Fortifications". Marsaskala
Marsaskala
Local Council. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2014. * ^ "Batterija Taz Zonqor". Zonqor. Retrieved 31 August 2014. * ^ "Searching for St. Paul\'s Shipwreck". CBN. Retrieved 21 July 2015. * ^ "Jerma Hotel becomes a hulk". Times of Malta
Malta
. 13 September 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2015. * ^ "Developers announce plans to build luxury hotel, apartments on Jerma site". Times of Malta
Malta
. 19 August 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2015.

* ^ Borg, Steve (1 April 2007). "The ‘Marsascala Committee Against the Recycling Plant’ visit European Parliament". The Malta Independent . Retrieved 26 March 2013. * ^ "Douzelage.org: Home". www.douzelage.org. Retrieved 21 October 2009. * ^ "Douzelage.org: Member Towns". www.douzelage.org. Retrieved 21 October 2009.

EXTERNAL LINKS

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