Have you ever stopped at Villa Rundle to explore the garden or simply to escape the sun on a summer’s day?
This green hub at the centre of Victoria is like the heart of the city, an oasis that is well loved by locals and travellers alike. Here are some interesting facts about Villa Rundle Gardens.
- Rundle Garden gets its name from General Leslie Macleod Rundle, Governor of Malta from 1909 to 1915. That’s over a century ago and in fact the garden dates back to 1915, when it was designed by the British as a recreational site.
- The area where the garden is located was an experimental government farm and it was General Rundle, who being rather fond of the island of Gozo, conceded to the idea of the garden.
- The upper part of the garden was originally designed like the layout of the Union Jack Flag with the diagonal crosses. Today this pattern can still be traced and one finds the mini-amphitheatre at the centre where the diagonals cross.
- Apart from the central water feature complete with a bridge that has replaced the original duck pond, Villa Rundle is home to some memorials. Maybe the most prominent are the busts of the Gozitan linguist Agius de Soldanis and the writer Laurent Rapa that are located at the lower part of the garden. Other sculptures and art pieces have been installed more recently and these embellish the gardens further.
- Villa Rundle is also synonymous with the traditional but popular agricultural show that takes place during the feast of Santa Marija in mid-August. For decades, this exhibition has been held in the garden and to this day it remains a major crowd puller.
- Villa Rundle is a venue for many events during the year. Not only is the amphitheatre a good stage for open-air shows that are held during the summer months but the garden is the perfect location for the official Easter Egg Hunt that is organised every year on Easter Sunday.
- The garden is kept green and alive during the dry summer seasons via a water reservoir. The original reservoir was a war shelter which was found underneath the lower part of the garden.
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