Underground passageways discovered in Valletta

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Preliminary archaeological studies in St George's Square, Valletta have uncovered an undocumented network of underground passageways, which could possibly connect to the Palace.

Studies are being undertaken in St George's Square in preparation for the building of a one-storey underground car park and the subsequent embellishment of the square.

The project, piloted by the Works Division and the Valletta Rehabilitation Project, still needs to be given the green light by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.

The passageways were discovered on Tuesday when government employees from the Works Division under architect Claude Borg dug through a wall in a small room on Archbishop Street. After clearing debris and other material, they discovered that the passageway leads to under the Main Guard portico, parallel to the Palace.

Further excavation works revealed that the central passageway had a number of corridors that led to other directions. One such corridor, at right angles with the central passageway and which seems to be blocked, runs in the direction of the Palace.

Mr Borg, executive co-ordinator of the Valletta Rehabilitation Project, said that archival research and previous studies of the site did not reveal the existence of the underground passageways.

It seems that the passageways used to form part of a drainage system built by the Knights of the Order of St John.

Technical people from the Valletta Rehabilitation Project are surveying and documenting the passageways.

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