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Fishing port and colorful luzzu boats
Marsaxlokk is a fishing village, especially known and attracting many visitors thanks to the largest in Malta luzzu fleet.
The ubiquitous and incredibly colorful boats are moored almost everywhere in the port. Luzzu have a long history that dates back to the Phoenician period. Unlike other boats, they were much more resistant to difficult weather conditions by having a double reinforced hull. Thanks to this they survived to our times and are still being used by fishermen in Malta.
Painted in yellow and blue, luzzu are additionally decorated by the eyes engraved on both sides of the prow, probably referring to the eye of Osiris or Horus. It is believed that these eyes are a modern continuation of an old Phoenician custom (practiced also by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians). As a symbol of protection and good health, they are supposed to protect the fishermen while at sea.
Marsaxlokk Bay was strategically important in the past. It was here in May 1565 that the Turks moored their ships, starting the Great Siege. The 4-month clash between Islam and the Christian world ended with the victory of the knights of the Order of Hospitallers of St. John. Next to the sea battle of Lepanto (1571), it is considered one of the landmark events hindering the territory expansion of the Ottoman Empire.
However, walking along the waterfront, watching stalls with lace and interesting souvenirs, looking at fishermen repairing fishing nets or renovating their boats, you can definitely forget about the Turks and enjoy the amazing view of the bay 🙂 .
Photographs of Marsaxlokk
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Many times, the boats have a set of eyes painted on the front. This is an ancient tradition dating back to the Phoenecians that was believed to protect the fishermen when they were out at sea.
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