The Belvedere was designed in 1857 by the Maltese architect Giuseppe Bonavia, the same architect who designed the Buttigieg and Francia Palace (or Palazzo Ferreria as it is sometimes known) at the entrance of Valletta. In 1857 the Marquis Depiro and his family, then the owners of Villa Gourigon, commissioned Bonavia to construct this folly in the middle of the orange groves and gardens. In fact, the Belvedere was consequently used as a place of relaxation by the residents and their guests. Hence, The Lija Belvedere, or It-Torri ta’ Hal-Lija as it is also known formed part of the extensive gardens of Villa Gourigon prior to the opening of Transfiguration Avenue in the 1950s. The belvedere has retained its original position and has become a landmark building due to its monumentality and by its association with Villa Gourigon.

Between 1995 and 1996 the belvedere was restored by the Girolamu Cassar School of Masonry and Restoration with financial aid from the Ministry of Education. The building was scheduled by MEPA as a Grade 1 property as per Government Notice number 360/96 dated 04 June 1996.

Today, the Belvedere, a beautiful piece of architecture and a landmark which serves as a traffic Island in Transfiguration Avenue is in the hands of the Lija Local Council and forms part of the heritage in Lija.

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