Malta: the Azure Window on the island of Gozo has collapsed

The famous stone arch on Malta’s Gozo island was swept away by a violent storm on Wednesday March 8.

We’ll have to learn to live without it. The beautiful limestone arch nicknamed the « Azure Window » could not withstand the heavy storm that had been battering the northern part of the Maltese archipelago for several days.

Neither the bridge nor the arch pier were any match for the raging seas and powerful waves. The structure, which owed its shape to the natural erosion of the stone, has now joined the ocean in its entirety.

The jewel of the island of Gozo

The Fenêtre d’Azur was one of the small island’s most popular attractions. Every year, countless travellers came to admire it and take photos in front of this beautiful limestone arch. A sight that Malta will miss.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat took to Twitter to express his sadness at the loss of this iconic piece of nature.

Location for many films

Several film shoots have made the Azure Window famous the world over. These include the films Clash of the Titans (1982) and Revenge of Monte Cristo (2002). More recently, the Games of Thrones series took advantage of this magnificent panorama for an episode of its first season.

There was also some controversy surrounding the filming, with certain environmental movements denouncing the damage caused by the Games of Thrones team to the environment on the island of Gozo.

A predictable collapse

One of the Azure Window’s blocks had already cracked in 2012, causing an initial rockfall due to erosion of the stone. Several reports also indicated that the arch would one day suffer greatly from this natural corrosion phenomenon and eventually disappear. This sad event came sooner than expected and leaves the people of Malta and all lovers of the island orphaned from a natural wonder.

Azure Window effondrée à Malte

Main photo credit: Wikimedia – Berthold Werner