Il-Mara is a rock and is located in Birżebbuġa, Malta.
This image is captured with a Canon 7d mk2 from Ghar Hasan cave.
Focal lenght 120mm.
A drone video of Il-Mara is embedded at the end of this page.
There are many legends about this cave on the southern coast, all featuring the Saracen, Hasan, who took refuge here, and most of them referring to at least one young maiden that he abducted and imprisoned. The cave setting is most spectacular. From the car park, a foot path over a "karst garden", leads to a flight of 25 precarious steps, heading down the limestone cliff high over the sea. A walk along a narrow path, carved out of the cliff, protected by a very rusty guard rail leads to the entrance. Hasan, apparently, entered the cave from below via a rope tethered at the entrance. The main entrance to the cave is 5m high and 6m wide and the entrance is of similar dimensions for the first 20m. In the top of this passage is a roof tube, sometimes separated from the main passage by a thin layer of rock and sometimes just a half tube in the roof. Partially enlarged master joints can be seen crossing the main passage.
Most of them come to a dead end but a large one extends for 48m and 73m respectively to two further entrances along the cliff face. At the eastern entrance there is a man made circular chamber, with obvious pick marks on the walls, and a stone bench around the edge, it has been speculated that this was, in fact, where Hasan lived.
All photographs are © copyright Derren Vella. All rights reserved unless otherwise explicitly indicated. My photographs have not been placed in the public domain, and any use requires advance permission. Many images may be purchased as prints and/or may be licensed for other uses with permission.