About the company
One can truly understand the beauty of this restored building, if you appreciate its humble beginnings. Is-Suq tal-Belt had originally been an open space known as ‘Piazza del Malcantone’ in the time of the Knights of St John. Here is where the farmers would take their daily produce and sell it. The Knights then decided that there needed to be more of an organised structure – hence the introduction of ‘stalls’.
In 1784, the building came to life in its original baroque form. In the 1860s under the British rule, the building became much bigger and took on a new form, similar to what you see today. The covered market in Valletta is a gem of British Colonial construction, an extremely successful project in its pre-war years. Unfortunately, it suffered through war damage, post-war reconstruction varying from the original and modifications and accretions which were unsympathetic and utterly foreign to the original Victorian iron structure. The market was also largely neglected for a long time.
Arkadia Group was granted a 65-year lease of the property by Parliament’s unanimous approval on 13 January 2016 to restore the neglected place, and return it to its original concept: that of selling and celebrating food. The current regeneration took into account the historical character of the site, so as to respect Valletta’s credentials as a World Heritage Site and also recognition of being a European Capital of Culture. Is-Suq tal-Belt literally translated to ‘The Market of the City’ has been a valuable piece of Malta’s history and heritage and upon taking your first few steps inside, it really becomes quite evident just what a true jewel this place really is. Having it brought back to life, and serving as a beating heart of Valletta, the Capital City.
The new and restored is-Suq tal-Belt brings to life a site which was neglected for years and was in danger of collapsing, returning this masterpiece to the public to enjoy while preserving the iconic Suq tal-Belt for future generations.