Attard (Maltese: Ħ’Attard) is a town in the Central Region of Malta. Together with Balzan and Lija it forms part of “the Three Villages” and has been inhabited since the Classical Period.
Attard’s traditional Latin motto is Florigera rosis halo (“I perfume the air with my blossoms”) due to its many flower gardens and citrus orchards. Attard is abundant with public gardens, including ornamental trees and flowers, maintained by the Local Council.
Attard covers a surface area of about seven square kilometres and has a growing population nearing 10,000. From Ta’ Qali side it is adjacent to Mdina and Mosta, and nearby the area of Ta’ l-Idward joining with Misrah Kola, across from the valleys of Wied San Martin, Wied Incita and Wied Irmiedi. Attard is bounded also Wied is-Sewda, and on the side of Lija, lies the area known as Ta’ Fgieni, which borders on the village core. On the South their is the Sant’Anton quarter, so named for the San Anton Palace and Gardens.
Of interest are the tombs and prehistoric remains dating back to 3,000 B.C. found in Attard has the highest rate in population growth in the Maltese Islands, as well as a high rate of social mobility, with a record number of teenagers attending university.
Attard was declared a parish in 1575, and from 1579 had its first parish priest. The first important buildings to be erected were chapels – some of which were bumbed in 1942. The parish church dedicated to the Assumption of Holy Mary began to be used in the first quarter of the seventeenth century. The design of the church is attributed to capomastro from Attard Tumas Dingli, perhaps on a plan by Vittorio Cassar. Among the works of art found in the church there are paintings by Francesco Zahra nd others.
In 1676 Attard was stricken with plaque, hence the devotion to Saint Rocque in the chapel of Saint Ann (presently being used by the society for Catholic doctrine.
The plague after 1670 killed 10% of Attard’s population. In those time Tal-Providenza cemetery, in Triq il-Belt Calletta (Triq Notabile) was used, which then was the the outskirts of the village.
What to see in Attard
San Anton Palace
Sant’Anton is not only rich in artistic and historical legacies, but has been a historical center for entertainment and celebrations and a constant job-provider and place of apprenticeship for Attard’s residents. The palace has greeted numerous royalty across the centuries, including Queen Marie of Romania, the Russian Empress Marie Feodorovna, King Edward VII and Queen Elizabeth II. It has seen the most distinguished visitors in contrasting personal situations – Napoleon’s younger brother Louis Bonaparte as a prisoner, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge as an admiring recluse.
Governor Borton opened its botanic gardens to the public in 1882 for picnics and strolls. Its shaded open courtyards and gardens regularly host extremely popular fairs and competitions celebrating plants, flowers, pedigree (and non-pedigree) animals and livestock. A dramatic company put on a Shakespeare Festival every summer (this has since been discontinued) and music recitals, from chamber orchestras to jazz quarters, often patronize the gardens.
During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2005, hosted by Malta, the President’s Palace in Attard served as a residence for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.
Built in opulent Baroque style, Villa Bologna has been called “the most beautiful 18th century country house to be built for a Maltese family” and “of similar grandeur to the finest palaces on the island”.
Villa Bologna is as interesting for its history as it is remarkable for its architecture and gardens which, after the neighbouring San Anton Gardens, is the largest historic gardens in Malta.[clarification needed] Once the seat of the Counts della Catena, Villa Bologna is now held by the great-grandson of the 6th count Gerald Strickland, 1st Baron Strickland.
Built during the rule of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and expanded during the British colonial period, Villa Bologna was central in the artistic, cultural, social and political history of Malta. It is a Grade 1 scheduled building and is a national monument.
The National Stadium (Maltese: il-Grawnd Nazzjonali Ta’ Qali), locally also referred to as Ta’ Qali, is a stadium located in Ta’ Qali, Malta. The stadium, which also contains the headquarters of the Malta Football Association, seats 16,997 people and is, by far, the largest stadium in the country. It serves as the national football stadium of Malta and is the home stadium of the Malta national football team. The stadium, together with three other stadiums, also hosts the Maltese Premier League and some of the matches of the Maltese FA Trophy, including the final.