The Mediterranean Has Lost One of its Most Iconic Landmarks

The Azure Window, Malta
The Azure Window, Malta | © Ksenija Toyechkina / Shutterstock

The people of Malta were in mourning yesterday after one its most striking landmarks was destroyed by strong winds. The Azure Window, a stunning geological formation some will recognise from Game of Thrones, collapsed during a storm that shook the Mediterranean island.

The Azure Window was used as a location in Game of Thrones

According to Roger Chessell, a Xagħra resident, the Azure Window collapsed around 9.40am yesterday. ‘There was a big raging sea beneath the window,’ he told the Times of Malta. ‘Suddenly, the arch collapsed into the sea with a loud whoomph, throwing up a huge spray. By the time the spray had faded, the stack had gone too.’

The site as it looks now

Maltese people are in shock. Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat described the news as ‘heart-breaking’, while Gozo Minister Anton Refalo likened the event to ‘losing a part of yourself’. Questions are already being asked of how this tragedy might have been avoided. In a press conference given yesterday, Environment Minister Jose Herrera said several studies had shown that no man-made intervention could have prevented the collapse.

It is a very sad day for Malta. The iconic Azure Window collapsed this morning, succumbing to the forces of nature and the passage of time. pic.twitter.com/ovc8Yj9gWH
— VisitMalta (@VisitMalta) March 8, 2017
Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis described the window as a marketing asset that had now been lost, but expressed confidence that Gozitan tourism would weather the blow. From its ancient religious buildings to its stunning beaches and excellent diving, Malta will no doubt continue to attract visitors, although Culture Trip will have to update our list of Top 10 Things to See and Do on this charming Mediterranean gem.

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