Hortibus undique septa – surrounded by gardens – is the motto of this picturesque village, Balzan, which is situated in the middle of Malta. Balzan is well-known for its beautiful gardens and orchards, laden with the fresh scents of citrus fruits. In spite of the decreasing number of such gardens, Balzan still boasts of an abundance of traditional town houses with back gardens full of lemon, orange and tangerine trees.
In Malta, many village names are identical to certain family names, as in Attard and Lija. It is believed by some, therefore, that the village inherited its name from a Sicilian family whose family name was Balzan (or Balzano). Other historians claim that “Balzan” refers to a Sicilian tax collector that could have come to Malta to collect taxes for his Sicilian feudal master. This tax collector could have resided in Balzan, thus giving the village its present name.
The earliest records of dwellings in Balzan date back to 1419-20. In the Militia List of the same date, Balzan is reported to have had around twenty dwellers residing within its boundaries. In March, 2011, the population of Balzan stood at 4,234.