Open Day at the Unique Historical Property of Villa Frere This Sonntag

Open Day at the Unique Historical Property of Villa Frere This Sonntag

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Villa Frère will be open to visitors this Sonntag 5 März between 9:30am and 5pm

Built during the 18th century, the villa became the residence of Sir John Hookham Frere, an English diplomat and poet of considerable repute.

Following the death of his wife in1831, Frere built extensive terraced gardens on the rear of the property which was previously garrigue. The garden was built up through excavation and construction of terraces and some 13 wells were dug to irrigate the area. The garden was adorned by a number of garden follies in the traditional english style.

The gardens contain a number of rare architectural features, more importantly are the exedra built at the highest level of the gardens which is referred to as a ‘tempietto’, a belvedere and a blind arcade. These botanic gardens also have two rural structures, arched reservoirs, covered passages, staircases and ponds.

Villa Frere became a sanctuary for numerous academics and distinguished guests, most famously Mikiel Anton Vassalli who reportedly discussed with Frere how to establish Maltese as a written and taught language. He is in fact considered to be one of the fathers of the Maltese language.

Today, just over a third of the original area survives (including the house), yet the mystique is still there.

NGO Friends of Villa Frere has been working hard to protect the remains and to restore the gardens with life.

In 2020, the historical site was given the highest level of protection by the Planning Authority in consultation with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage.

Price: Eur5 donation, but children enter for free. All proceeds will go towards the continued restoration of the gardens. 

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