The Memory of the Azure Window in Malta

Before I jump into the bulk of this article, I just wanted to thank everyone for the supportive and kind words about my rebrand! It’s always scary when launching something new and the anticipation of readers’ reactions was weighing heavily on my mind…what if people didn’t like it?! And to all my subscribers who didn’t transfer over before I launched Wayfaring With Wagner (about 200 didn’t transfer over!), welcome to my new blog! You can find out more about my change from Beer Time With Wagner to Wayfaring With Wagner here.

Without further ado…

When booking my 25th birthday celebration in Malta last January, seeing the Azure Window was high on my priority list. The grandness, the sheerness, and astounding natural wonder made it a must-see activity. After hiring a taxi driver for the day to take us around the entire island of Gozo (highly recommend hiring one!), he pulled into the Azure Window just as the sun was setting. It was virtually desolate due to the time of day and time of year. Yet, it didn’t fail to impress me.

Azure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With WagnerAzure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With WagnerAzure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With WagnerAzure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With Wagner

My taxi driver told us stories about the power of this sea and the force of mother nature. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to approach the edge as the wind was whipping in every direction and the sea was battering against the cliffs. Since my visit there, tourists have lost their lives by not heeding the warning signs and venturing too close to the edge.

Azure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With WagnerAzure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With WagnerAzure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With Wagner

Unfortunately, the Azure Window had its final day on March 8, 2017. Around 10 am local time during a fierce storm, it was reported that the entire Azure Window had collapsed – even the support pillar. Although the origins of the Azure Window are unknown, it was reportedly formed in the 19th century after the collapse of a sea cave. The location went on to become a popular filming spot.

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Throughout the past 20-30 years, scientists have been warning about the dangers of both natural and man-made erosion. The Azure Window first showed signs of erosion in the 1980s after losing part of its arch. By 2012, a substantial part of the arch fell, widening the window. The damage was so great that in December 2016, an emergency order was enacted that fined people for climbing the Azure Window. However, the law was never enforced and the inevitable collapse occurred only a few months later.

Azure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With WagnerAzure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With WagnerAzure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With WagnerAzure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With WagnerAzure Window in Malta via Wayfaring With Wagner

The collapse of the Azure Window brings up the debate of human interaction with natural wonders, and the overall strength of mother nature. Did humans single-handedly cause the collapse of the Azure Window? No. But did human interaction speed up its ultimate collapse? Probably.

For now, these are the lasting memories I have from the Azure Window in Malta. I’m so happy that I was able to photograph this majestic structure before its destruction.

Only a lasting memory, pictures of the Azure Window in Malta before its collapse
Only a lasting memory, pictures of the Azure Window in Malta before its collapse
Question: I’d love to know your opinion – where do you stand on human interaction with natural wonders? Should there be human limits or stricter laws? Or is mother nature ultimately at fault in these situations? Comment below!

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  • Wow, it was such a sight especially with that blue water. I can’t believe it’s not there anymore :( I feel like humans are to blame for a LOT of things not being on this earth anymore and it’s truly sad. But at least you got to see it (and have some incredible pictures in front of it) before it fell.

  • That’s so awesome that you got to see this beauty before it collapsed! Our friends that are stationed in Italy right now managed a trip to Malta last year, and I’m so glad that they were able to see the Azure Window before the collapse as well. I think that there should probably be laws helping to protect mother nature, but the laws are pointless if they’re not enforced, which was the case with the Azure Window.

  • I was so sad to hear of this! Malta was one of our favorite stops on our honeymoon and everything was just absolutely beautiful. We didn’t make it to see the Azure Window that trip and were hoping to make it back to see it next time. Your photos are beautiful!

  • Strictly enforcing laws to preserve nature is a must with every tourist (and even non-tourist) spot. Humans have driven away all kinds of species from their natural habitats just to get that photo, or to get a souvenir. It’s annoying!!!

  • I heard about the collapse! It is too bad, but I’m happy to see your photos from when it was still standing strong!

    I agree that people probably sped up the collapse of the Azure Window, but to me with my background in biology, it also is sort of the beauty of nature. Things change, coming and going, making them all the more special and wonderful. Even the extinction of organisms is natural (though likely much more frequent now — which is a problem).