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A craftsman carving limestone in the workshop at Limestone Heritage.

A craftsman carving limestone in the workshop at Limestone Heritage.

Limestone Heritage is easily found - just off the Siggiewi bypass - and is one of the most professionally run and interesting heritage attractions in Malta. Although it does not fall directly under the remit of Heritage Malta, HM recently signed a collaboration agreement with Limestone Heritage for the provisions of a multi-site ticket. At present HM have a similar ticket for Hagar Qim/Mnajdra and LH, another one for the National Museum of Archaeology and LH, and another for Tarxien Temples and LH.

Limestone Heritage is the brainchild of Manuel Baldacchino and his wife Anne Marie. Mr Baldacchino is himself from a quarry-owning dynasty and his wife's family are in the building trade. In fact the project is family owned and run.

There is a decently-sized parking lot at the entrance to the attraction and a spacious reception area. This space also contains a cafeteria and gift shop.

A word here about the ambience at Limestone Heritage. The staff are extremely pleasant and helpful, nothing seems too much trouble. Tours of the Limestone Heritage site move off in groups and every member of the tour is provided with a lightweight headset, to follow the commentary on each stage of the process.

The tour begins in the audio-visual auditorium, where a short video charts the historical importance of indigenous limestone as the substance which has literally built Malta. You then move outside to the disused quarry, which now serves as a backdrop for the tour proper. Visitors are shown all the stages in the process of turning quarries into workable stone and even some very beautiful objects d'art. Visitors may purchase their own custom-made limestone souvenir for as little as Lm1. Souvenir prices are indeed refreshingly reasonable.

Limestone Heritage has been operating for just five years, but in this comparatively short time it has become established as one of Malta's must-see attractions.
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