21 October 2011

The Azure Window - Soon to be the Azure Pinnacle

There are a number of reasons why places have their names changed. Sometimes it is because the country has undergone reorganisation. Other times it is because the name might be a little embarrassing to the locals. In the case of Azure Window, a gorgeous spot on the Maltese island of Gozo it is because very soon the famous window will no longer be a window. It may very well look like this soon.

Of course, at the moment, it is intact. Thanks to Reddit member TeknOtaku for this impression, however, of how it may look once the day arrives.

The Azure Window (or Tieqa Żerqa as the locals call it) is simply stunning. A popular site for scuba diving this window was created thousands of years ago with the collapse of two caves. Since before the Roman Empire this natural arch – perhaps a table top created for Poseidon to picnic upon – has captivated those who laid their eyes upon it.

However, all that is set to change and it could be any day now.  Every now and again huge chunks of rock have been falling from the arch in to the sea. The arch is now in such poor condition that people have been barred from walking along it, just in case their added weight sends it (not to mention its unlucky guests) crashing in to the sea. The last two walk its length did so this summer.

You do not have to be a professional geologist to see where and how disaster might strike. The only thing to guess about is when the inevitable will occur.

Yet this has not really perturbed the laid back citizens of Malta.  All things must pass and so, with a shrug of their Mediterranean shoulders, they plan to rename the picturesque Azure Window to the Azure Pinnacle.

If the arch seems familiar to you, you have probably recognised it from its appearance in a number of feature films.

Most likely you recall it from the 1981 Ray Harryhausen epic Clash of the Titans.

Notice how much thicker the table top is in the shot from the movie, left, to how it appears in the more recent pictures on this post. 

You may also have spotted it in The Odyssey from 1997 and The Count of Monte Cristo from 2002.  Get the three films and watch them in order and although you could well claim to be nerdier than Sheldon Cooper, you can see the inexorable decline of this beautiful natural arch. Time, it seems, is running out for the Azure Window.

The Azure Window is about to die. Long live the Azure Pinnacle!

 Thanks to Reddit member rewarren for this impression of what the Azure Pinnacle may look like!