This wonderful archive film footage shows the hustle and bustle of city life in Valletta in the 1950s.
Formerly known as Kingsway, Republic Street is the major thoroughfare in the Maltese capital. It is also the main shopping street with dozens of stores, boutiques, cafes, bars, offices, hotels and restaurants. Republic Street stretches around 1 km from City Gate to Fort St Elmo.
After the Great Siege of Malta, the Order of St John planned Valletta according to a grid pattern, with Republic Street, then known as Strada San Giorgio, acting the main backbone of the city. Republic Street was home to the Royal Opera House until it was devastated by a Luftwaffe aerial bombing raid in 1942 during the Second World War. The Palace and St George’s Square were also badly damaged during the war, as well as hundreds of homes, shops and buildings.
Today, Republic Street is pedestrianised. However cars were permitted to use the road until the early 1980s.
What are your memories of Valletta in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s? We would love to hear your stories.