Sliema is a coastal town situated on the northeast of Malta, adjacent to St. Julians. Once the home of Malta’s aristocracy; it has now become a major commercial area, very popular for shopping, bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels.
Sliema was once a quiet fishing village, a minor summer resort that hosted the wealthier Valletta residents. The 19th century, however, saw the development of Sliema; it quickly grew into a residential area, adjoining to neighbouring St. Julians. Elegant villas and town houses, as well as many Victorian buildings were built by the British along the promenade overlooking the rocky coastline.
Soon, the people of Sliema understood the tourism potential of the area, and so they began a building boom that changed the whole landscape. Sliema became the first tourist resort in Malta, and its importance still remains. Nowadays, only a few Victorian and art nouveau houses remain, the rest have been replaced by modern apartment blocks, establishments and hotels.
From one side, the Sliema promontory offers spectacular views across to Valletta, and from the other side, there are breathtaking open sea views. The promenade that stretches for a couple of kilometres is ideal for long walks or runs, while the various benches provide a place for the locals to relax and socialize during warm summer evenings. Sliema coastline also boasts the Independence Garden completed with a children’s playground, as well as two fortifications: a De Redin tower built in the 17th century to protect the islands against sea attacks; and another tower that was built by the British in a neo-gothic style in the 1880s.
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