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Sta Venera


Santa Venera, located in the outer harbour region of Malta, is about two kilometres away from the capital of Valletta and has an estimated population of almost 9000 residents. In 1918, Santa Venera became independent – it no longer formed part of Birkirkara. Nowadays Santa Venera is regarded as an urban area with a rural heart.

Santa Venera features some old buildings which left their historical mark on the place. Such places include the Wignacourt aqueduct, which was used as a water supply. Along the road leading to Ħamrun through Attard one finds the aqueduct built between 1611 and April 1615, during the times of the Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt, to supply water to the capital city Valletta. Across from the arches supporting this aqueduct is the famous palace known as Casa Leoni built by Gran Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena and finished around the year 1730. This palace, which today houses a ministry, is surrounded by a garden, which was one of the most beautiful gardens in Malta.

Up until 1798, Casa Leoni was used by reigning Grandmasters but after an uprising in the countryside against the French, it became one of the headquarters of the Maltese insurgents. The name derives from the four lion statues that adorn the façade and also because it formed part of the Vilhena coat of arms. The palace is characterized by gardens, which were a replica of the San Anton Gardens, but on a smaller scale. The palace has been used for diverse reasons, such as a ministry for home affairs and social policy and as a ministry for health and parliament secretary for the aged.

The gardens are a main attraction of the area dating back to the 18th century. Today, it is well kept by the local council and has many features. It specializes in citrus and ornamental trees, evergreen and flowering hedges, ponds and even fountains which where unfortunately vandalized. There is also a restored farmhouse that highlights a small collection of traditional farming tools and farmhouse furniture. Next to the farmhouse, one can find a fully functional water pump (sienja). There is also a cat sanctuary and a honey production facility together with a small museum sheltering honey making tools that where used in the past.

The first church dedicated to Santa Venera was built in the year 1473 on a rocky plain hill between Birkirkara and Msida. In the year 1550 the church was enlarged slightly and repaired. The church was rebuilt from scratch and was completed in 1688. The Carmelite Friars have been running St Venera Churches since 1912.

One of the people that was buried in the old church is Fra Gakkin Vivas, who was a Neapolitan hermit who in fact founded the hermitage of Santa Venera that was built in 1742 and adjacent to the church. Fra Vivas brought over Sicilian hermits from the order of San Kalogeru. Fra Gakkin Vivas was of a noble decent and found support from the Maltese nobility, amongst them were Rafael Dorell who was one of the ancestors of Lord (Strickland), a Former Maltese politician from the 1930s.

In the Church of Misraħ Santa Venera we have beautiful paintings and statues. One can treasure the works of Mattia Preti and Giuseppi Cali’.

At Santa Venera there are also a number of chapels and religious institutes such as the APA Institute built in 1954, the Sacred Heart chapel, which is apart of the Cini Institute for homeless girls and the St Joseph Institute, which was dedicated in May 1916. At Santa Venera one also can find the Conservatorio Vincenzo Bugeja whose foundation stone was laid in 1876. Due to the rapid increase in the population it was felt that a new parish church should be built and the foundation was built on 1990.

Last year, after 400 years since the acqueduct was being build to supply water to the capital city, MITA was built to supply technology to the Maltese Islands. This beautiful modern buliding, which looks like a luxurious cruise ship is in Railway Road c/w Żonqor Road.

Further down, in Triq il-Kappillan Mifsud, one still can treasure the remains of the railway wall. San Ġorġ Preca lived his last times of life in Triq Il-Parroċċa, Santa Venera. The current Mayor and Parish Priest are Mr Horace J. Anastasi and Fr. Joe Saliba, respectively.

 

Attractions in Santa Venera

1. Vincenzo Bugeja Institute

Address: Triq Fleur-de-lys

2. San Joseph Institute

Address: Triq Il-Kbira San Guzepp

3. Santa Venera Old Church

Address: Santa Venera Pjazza

Telephone: +356 2148 4053

Holy Mass hours: Sunday and Feast Days: 6.30a, 7.30a,m, 8.30am, 9.30am, 10.30am and 6.00pm. Saturday evenings: 5.00pm, 6.00pm and 7.00pm. Weekdays: 6.30am, 7.15am, 8.45am and 6.00pm.

4. Santa Venera Local Council

Address: Kumpless Umberto Calosso

Triq San Guzepp

Telephone: +356 2149 1030

Email: santavenera.lc@gov.mt

5. St. Phillip Neri Institute

Address: Il-Kbira San Guzepp

6. Casa Leone Palace

7. Casa Leone Gardens

Address: Casa Leone, 4765, Triq Il-Kbira San Guzepp

Telephone: +356 2148 5100

Email: LMHA@magnet.net

8. Guard Tower

Address: Triq Il-Kbira San Guzepp

9. Apa Institute

Address: Triq Il-Kbira San Guzepp

 

1 Cini Institute

Address: Triq Il-Kbira San Guzepp

11 Santa Venera New Parish Church

Address: Triq Il-Kbira San Guzepp

Telephone: +356 2148 2851

Email: parrocca.s.venera@maltadiocese.org or svenera1918@gmail.com

Website: www.karmelitanimalta.org

Holy Mass Hours: Sundays and Feast Days: 6.00am, 7.00am, 8.00am, 9.00am, 11.30 am and 6.00pm. Saturday Evenings: 6.30pm.

Weekdays: 6.00am, 7.00am, 8.30am and 6.30pm
Office Hours: Mon, Wed and Thurs: 8.00am – 9.00am and 5.00pm – 6.00pm

Places of Refreshment:

The Santa Venera Band Club

Address: 35, Triq Il-Fanali

Telephone: +356 2144 0259

Email: info@bandasantavenera.com

Snackeria

Address: Triq Il-Kbira San Guzepp

Local Information:

Santa Verena Local Council

Address: Kumpless Umberto Calosso,

Triq San Ġużepp

Telephone: +356 21491030
Email: santavenera.lc@gov.mt

Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 8.00am – 2.30pm and Sat: 8.00am – 11.00am. 

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