Restoration of Lunzjata Fountain, Kercem, Gozo
The picturesque 17th century fountain in Lunzjata Valley, a well loved landmark in Kercem, Gozo, has been restored by Din l-Art Helwa in a joint project with the Kercem Local Council. The restoration was made possible with the generous support of the Alfred Mizzi Foundation who sponsored the work. The inauguration of the restoration project, which was carried out by master mason Leli Saliba, known as il-Buffajra, was attended by Martin Galea, Executive President of Din l-Art Helwa, the Mayor of Kercem, Joe Grima, and Alfred Petrococchino representing the Alfred Mizzi Foundation together with members of the Din l-Art Helwa Gozo Committee and members of the Kercem Local Council.
The fountain which had suffered the decay of time and erosion over the years was built in 1698 by Hercole Martino Testaferrata. He had been appointed by Grand Master Ramon Perellos y Roccaful, to create a niche over the spring. The Lunzjata valley, which had abundant springs whose waters fell into Xlendi Valley, takes its name from the nearby medieval chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Annunciation and this verdant lush area was used by the Order of the Knights as a place of recreation. The fountain was to be used by the many Gozitans who came to obtain precious water from the spring on this side of the valley. It bears a Latin inscription, as well as two coats-of arms: the one at the top of the fountain belongs to Hercole Testaferrata and the other to Grand Master Perellos.
Alfred Petrococchino said that the Alfred Mizzi Foundation was proud to have made it possible to save an important landmark such as the 17th Century Lunzjata Fountain from further decay for the nation and to have been able to work with Din l-Art Helwa and the Kercem Local Council to preserve Gozo’s rich rural built heritage.