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Prince of Wales Bridge

 

No specific historical records referring to the bridge have been found although it appears to be present on the oldest site plans available at the Records and Archives Office dating to 1916. The design of the bridge is functional but it contains elements of decoration reminiscent of a simplification of the Art Nouveau decor prevalent in Sliema architecture built in the late 19th to the early 20th century. The surrounding houses also pertain to a simplified Art-Nouveau style which reinforces the notion that the area was constructed in the same period of the bridge. The bridge is composed on one single segmental vault forming part of Triq il-Kullegg l-Antik and crossing Triq Manwel Dimech and rising two floors above the lower street level. Externally it is built entirely of globigerina limestone. The vault appears from the outside to be constructed of a single layer of a large voussiours laid out perpendicularly to the span. The voussiours used are rather large and have a narrow decorative fascia running along their top edge on each side of the bridge. The bridge is buttressed against the side walls enclosing Triq Manwel Dimech, which serve as an abutment. The parapet wall is edged with inset frames carved in the stone courses. A string course lies below the parapet wall while it is topped with capstones.

 

The facades of the bridge were in a relatively good state but some damaged stone could be noted probably due to exposure to weathering conditions and pollution. There are visible concrete renders which need to be inspected from closer vicinity so as to understand their depth.  A complete documentation of the bridge has been carried out. Scaled drawings were drawn up from rectified photography and levels established. This was done to ascertain a proper method of restoration. All superfluous metal fixtures and wiring will be carefully removed and the stone surface will then be superficially cleaned. Cement based pointing will be carefully removed and new pointing applied. Poulticing will be applied to areas of persistent black crust. Stone replacement will be done only where necessary using stones that have the same dimensions and configuration as the stones being replaced. Finally a velatura consisting of a lime-based pigmented wash will be applied to the restored stonework to ensure overall visual uniformity.​