Written by Szidonia Lorincz
Hastings Gardens is one of many of Malta’s beautiful and well-kept gardens. It is located right at the entrance of Valletta, to the left from the city gate. It is easy to miss this beautiful spot, as it stays outside of the most visited areas of the town. Part of that contributes to the charm of the garden, as it is a hidden gem which is well worth the discovery.
The garden is designed to go alongside the North-Western walls of Valletta, and it provides an astonishing view of Msida, Gzira and Sliema as well as Manoel Island. There are various plant species as well as bushes and trees intricately distributed in this well thought-out design. The most charming detail is that there are various places one can rest: many hidden spots with benches put behind bushes for those who want privacy or some places overlooking the sea and the bustling cities from the calm of nature.
In the center of the garden there is a monument placed by the Hastings family, to commemorate a past governor of Malta Francis, Marquis of Hastings. There is also an Armenian cross stone, a khachkar, to commemorate the friendship between Armenia and Malta, and the help Armenian refugees received during “ the tragic years of 1375 and 1915”.
Legend says that the gardens took only 4 hours to build, representing the hard work of Maltese people. Seeing how far the garden extends and how much planning and work has been put into the place, it is hard to believe that it only took 4 hours to build, however it is easy to spend this amount of time there as time just seems to stop once one gets lost in the details of the place.