It served as the spectacular backdrop for Daenerys Targaryen’s wedding to Khal Drogo in the first ever episode of “Game of Thrones.”
But the natural “Azure Window” rock arch that jutted off Gozo Island in the Maltese archipelago is sadly no more. A powerful storm Wednesday caused the arch and its stack to collapse into the sea below, reports the Times of Malta.
“There was a big raging sea beneath the window,” said local resident Roger Chessell, who witnessed the collapse. “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.”
Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat called the collapse of the limestone rock “heartbreaking.”
He revealed via Twitter that officially commissioned studies had indicated it “would be hard hit by unavoidable natural corrosion.” “That sad day arrived,” Muscat added.
The Island of Gozo’s tourist board also lamented the loss of the rock formation, known locally as it-Tieqa tad-Dwejra, which it estimated that 80 percent of all tourists to the island had visited.
“The inevitable and the much feared has happened,” it said via a statement on Facebook. “The flagship of the Gozitan touristic sites has sunk in its same birth place from where for thousands of years, it stood high and proud heralding one of the natural beauties our little island is endowed with.”
Dozens of Twitter users also paid tribute to the former formation: