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Malta's famous Azure Window, beloved by photographers visiting the island nation, finally collapsed into the sea during severe weather, after a long period of erosion.

Before and After: Malta's famous Azure Window collapses


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, 5:37 PM - Malta's famous Azure Window, beloved by photographers visiting the island nation (and Game of Thrones fans everywhere), collapsed into the sea during severe weather, after a long period of erosion.

The Times of Malta reported the arch collapsed Wednesday during a period of strong winds and rough seas.

"There was a big raging sea beneath the window,” local resident Roger Chessell told the Times. "Suddenly, the arch collapsed into the sea with a loud whoomph, throwing up a huge spray. By the time the spray had faded, the stack had gone too."

The limestone arch, located on Gozo Island, the Mediterranean nation's secondary island, had been degrading slowly over the centuries, and its collapse had been long expected. 

Image: Berthold Werner/Wikimedia Commons

RELATED: Famous sea arch rock formation collapses in Nova Scotia

"Reports commissioned over the years indicated that this landmark would be hard hit by unavoidable natural corrosion. That sad day arrived," Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted on Wednesday.

Late last year, the Maltese authorities banned tourists and pedestrians from walking on top of the arch, with a minimum fine of €1,500 (about C$2,130). However, the Times says the penalty was rarely enforced.

The arch's striking appearance made it attractive to film-makers, and it has appeared in several films and T.V. series.

In 1981, it appeared during the original Clash of the Titans film and, more recently, appeared in HBO's Game of Thrones series as the site of the Dothraki wedding early in the first season.

SOURCE: The Times of Malta

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