Popular Tourist Destination Azure Window of Malta Collapses Into the Sea After Storm

© Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters The Azure Window, a limestone arch in Malta was popular with locals and tourists. It collapsed on Wednesday morning after being battered by a storm.

If you’re headed to Malta, don’t expect to capture the Azure Window in shiny filters for Instagram. The popular limestone arch collapsed into the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday.

Located on Gozo island and formally known as Tieqa tad-Dwejra, the arch served as a backdrop in the first episode of the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” the movie “Clash of The Titans” and in the Instagram posts of many a traveler.

“Reports commissioned over the years indicated that this landmark would be hard hit by unavoidable natural corrosion,” said Joseph Muscat, the country’s prime minister via Twitter on Wednesday. “That sad day arrived.”

Simon Busuttil, the country’s opposition leader, also took to Twitter saying, “This is a sad day for #Malta. We have just lost an icon of our country’s natural beauty.”

Malta, in the central Mediterranean, has a population of roughly 400,000 and counts tourism as a main economic driver. In recent years, rising interest in the arch and nearby sites has been driven in part by their appearance in the series “Game of Thrones,” which will air its seventh season on HBO this year. The Azure Window was a backdrop for the wedding of Daenerys Targaryen, a recurring character played by Emilia Clarke, to Khal Drogo, portrayed by Jason Momoa, in the first episode in mid-2011.

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SOURCE: The New York Times – Tamara Best