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FUNGUS ROCK

By J oseph M Falzon
summaries by Prof J.M. Falzon/A.Falzon

 

 

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Il-Ħaġra tal-Ġeneral tinsab fil-bokka tal-bajja tad-Dwejra. Tilħaq għoli ta' xi ħamsin metru 'l fuq minn wiċċ l-ilma u l-quċċata tagħha, forma ta' pjanura, fiha firxa ta' 0.7 ta' ettaru. Għal ħafna żmien kienu jaħsbu li l-pjanta mediċinali magħrufa bħala Għerq is-Sinjur kienet tikber biss fuq din id-daqsxejn ta' gżira. Żmien ilu kienet ikklassifikata bħala waħda tal-familja tal-fungus ("Fungus melitensis") iżda llum titqies bħala pjanta parassitika li tagħmel il-fjuri, bl-isem xjentifiku Cynomorium coccineum. It-tobba kienu jaraw fiha mediċina qawwija għal ħafna tipi ta' mard. Fi żmien il-Kavallieri ħadd ma kien jitħalla jitla' fuq il-Ħaġra mingħajr permess u, fuq ordni tal-Granmastru, il-ġnub ġew illixxati biex min jipprova jixxabbat u jitla' ma jsibx ma' fejn iqabbad. Is-suldati tat-Torri kellhom ordnijiet biex jgħassu il-Ħaġra lejl u nhar u min jinqabad jaqta' l-pjanta kien jintbagħat jaqdef fuq ix-xwieni ta' l-Ordni. Nafu li l-pjanta kienet tintuża regolarment fl-isptar ta' l-Ordni, is-Sacra Infermeria, u bosta drabi l-Granmastru bagħat il-pjanta lil slaten ta' l-Ewropa. Matul is-Seklu XVIII u kważi sa nofs is-Seklu XIX bejn il-Ħaġra u l-eqreb art kien hemm ħbula li permezz ta' kaxxa mdendla magħhom wieħed kien jista' jaqsam mill-art għal Ħaġra; kienu ħafna l-vjaġġaturi li għaddew minn din l-esperjenza u rrakkuntaw l-istorja. Dan l-aħħar fid-dinja tal-mediċina jidher li reġa' qam interess f'din il-pjanta u barra minn Malta hemm iktar minn università waħda fejn għaddejja riċerka fuq il-valur mediċinali tal- fungus melitensis.  

 

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Fungus Rock (locally known as Il-Hagra tal-General) is a precipitous rocky islet which stands at the mouth of  the circular basin of Dwejra Bay. Its flat top has an area of 0.7ha and rises to some 50m above sea-level. For a long time it was thought to be the only home of the parasitic flowering plant cynomorium coccineum (erroneously called a fungus) which was considered to be a sovereign remedy against a host of medical conditions especially intestinal. During the Knights’ period access to the rock was strictly forbidden and the sides were scarped to render it inaccessible. The three man garrison of the Dwejra Tower guarded the rock day and night. For trespassers or others found in possession of the plant, severe penalties, including rowing on the Order’s galleys, were envisaged to deter poachers from picking the precious plant which was used regularly in the Order’s Holy Infirmary and samples of which were often sent as a present from the Grandmaster to the royal courts in Europe. During the eighteenth century and up to the 1830’s the rock was connected to the mainland by means of a primitive cable car and several travelers have left written accounts of the ride in the contraption. There has been a revival of interest in the plant’s medicinal properties and related research is currently being undertaken abroad at university level. 

 

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Deutsche Übersetzung, die kurz kommt

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france

 

Fungus Rock (nommé localement également Il-Hagra tal-General) est un îlot rocheux escarpé qui se dresse à l’entrée du basin circulaire de la baie de Dwerja. Son sommet est une surface plane de 0.7hectards qui s’élève à près de 50 mètres au dessus du niveau de la mer. Il fut considéré pendant longtemps comme l’unique habitat de la plante parasite cynomorium coccineum (appeler à tord champignon), il a été considéré comme un excellent remède contre une foule de maladies, notamment intestinales. Sous l’Ordre de Malte l’accès au roché était totalement interdit, ses cotés avait été taillés pour le rendre inaccessible. La garnison de trois homme de la Tour de Dwejra  gardait le rocher jour et nuit. Les étrangers ou tout autre personne découverte en possession de la plante encourait de grave peine, comme des peines sur les galères de l’Ordre, afin de dissuader les voleurs de ramasser la précieuse plante qui était régulièrement employé dans la Sainte Infirmerie et dont quelques exemplaires étaient souvent envoyés comme cadeaux par le Grand-maître aux cours royales d’Europe. Pendant le XVIIIème siècle et jusqu’aux années 1830 le roché était relié à la terre au moyen d’une télécabine primitive, plusieurs voyageurs ont relaté par écrit leur traversées sur cet engins. Il existe un regain d’intérêt pour les propriétés médicinales de la plante, et des recherches sont actuellement en cours à l’étranger au niveau universitaire.

 

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italy

 

La roccia fungus (localmente conosciuta come Il-Hagra tal-Generale) è un isolotto roccioso brusco che si leva in piedi alla bocca del bacino circolare della baia di Dwejra. La relativa parte superiore piana ha una zona di 0.7ha ed aumenta a circa 50m sopra il livello del mare. A lungo si è pensato per essere l'unica sede del coccineum parassita di cynomorium della pianta flowering (erroneamente denominato un fungo) che è stato considerato come un rimedio sovrano contro una miriade di circostanze mediche particolarmente intestinale. Durante i cavalieri l'accesso di periodo alla roccia è stato proibito a rigorosamente ed i lati erano scarped per renderlo inaccessibile. La guardia di tre uomini nella torretta di Dwejra ha sorveliato la rocca di gorno e di notte. Per i trasgressori o altri trovati in possesso della pianta, le pene severe, compreso la rematura sulle cambuse
dell'ordine, sono state previste per trattenere i poachers dal selezionamento della pianta preziosa che è stata usata regolarmente nell'infermeria santa e nei campioni dell'ordine di cui sono stati trasmessi spesso come presente dal Granmaestro alle corti reali in Europa. Durante il diciottesimo secolo e fino al 1830's la roccia è stata collegata alla terra per mezzo di un automobile di cavo primitivo e parecchi viaggiatori hanno lasciato i clienti scritti del giro nell'aggeggio. Ci è stato un risveglio di interesse nelle proprietà medicinali della pianta e la ricerca riferita attualmente sta intraprendenda all'estero al livello universitario.

 

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