Thursday, June 6, 2013

THE AZURE WINDOW—THE ISLAND OF GOZO, MALTA


The Azure Window, or Tieqa Żerqa, is located near Dwejra Point and Dwejra Bay on the western side of the island of Gozo in Malta. The natural stone arch in the Dwejra Point Cliffs is a 50 meter (164 foot) hole formed by water weathering in a rock face. The opening offers incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea. The arch, called it-Tieqa, or “the window” in Maltese, formed when an ancient underwater limestone cave collapsed over millions of years.

Due to its unique beauty and popularity, the arch has been featured in the films Clash of the Titans and The Count of Monte Cristo. It was also featured in HBO’s television show Game of Thrones.

The arch is a very popular tourist attraction, but it is fragile. It may only have a few years left standing. Authorities in Malta have warned people not to stand too close to this structure or walk on it for fear that it may collapse. A partial collapse of the arch occurred in April 2012, which widened it on its left side. When the center portion collapses and eventually falls into the sea, the structure will be renamed the Azure Pinnacle.


Photo courtesy of Never House via Flickr Creative Commons.

References:
http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2010/02/16/stone-of-arc-the-worlds-10-most-amazing-natural-arches/

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120417/local/part-of-dwejra-window-collapses.415805

http://www.ventureso.me/gozo/azure-window/

http://www.malta-info.co.uk/attractions/azure_window/

For more information on limestone structures in Malta, please see: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=515112048549844&set=a.352867368107647.80532.352857924775258&type=3&theate

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