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Malta26 Birgu2

  1. Birgu, or Cittá Vittoriosa is one of the oldest city on the Island, and it played an important role in the Siege of Malta in 1565. Birgu was once a main city and has a long history of military and maritime activities. Birgu is ideally situated for safe anchorage, and over time it has developed a very long history with maritime, mercantile and military activities.
  2. Birgu was the site of major battles between the Knights and the Ottoman Empire during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. After four months of successful defence by the Knights, the city was almost captured by the Ottoman army in August, but was recaptured by the Knights under Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette. Reinforcements from Sicily arrived a month later, and the siege was abandoned by the Ottomans
  3. After this, a new capital city was built on Mount Sceberras, bearing the name Valletta. In 1571, the Knights transferred their convent and seat to the new capital and Birgu lost some of its importance. Despite this, after the Siege, Birgu was given the title Città Vittoriosa, Italian for "victorious city"
  4. The part of Birgu which faces Isla, also known as Senglea (the second of the 'Three Cities', after Birgu) has been developed into a yacht marina
  5. MaritimeM useum situated on the Birgu Wharf
  6. Restaurant and steeple of the maritime museum of Vittoriosa Birgu
  7. Housed within the Old Naval bakery, the Malta Maritime Museum charts Malta’s maritime history and lore within a Mediterranean context
  8. The parish church of St. Lawrence was the Conventual church of the Knights of St. John
  9. VittoriosaBirgumarina
  10. View of Senglea from the Vittoriosa Birgu marina
  11. After the taking of Malta by Napoleon in 1798, French forces were garrisoned in the city. Soon after the Maltese rebelled and the Grand Harbour area was blockaded by Maltese rebels aided by Britain, Portugal and Naples. The French eventually capitulated in September 1800, and Malta became a British protectorate. The Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet established its base in Birgu, and British forces remained stationed in Birgu until 1979
  12. Malta can compete with Rome on the number of religious buildings per square mile. As a Roman Catholic country, niches are very common to be found at the front of most Maltese homes, especially older ones
  13. St. Scholastica's is the church of a convent of Benedictine nuns which is lodged in the hospital which the Knights built soon after their arrival to comply with their obligation of housing and helping pilgrims. The church was designed by Lorenzo Gafà in 1679. Mattia Preti painted The HolyThe Holy Family with St AnneFamily with St Anne at the nunnery of Santa Scolastica,, consi-dered as one of Mattia Preti’s most outstanding works
  14. MattiaPreti(1613-!699) TheHolyFamilywithStAnne
  15. In Maltese the knockers are also know as il-Habbata and they are very beautiful, unusual and elaborate and can be described as truly works of art 
  16. Birgu, or Cittá Vittoriosa is one of the oldest city on the Island
  17. Hibiscus rosa sinensis is a common flower found in many parts of the world
  18. ChurchoftheAnnunciationandPrioryoftheDominicanFriars
  19. EmvinCremona(1919–1987) TheAnnunciationoftheVirginMary ThemainaltarpieceofIl-LunzjataAnnunciationchurch1959
  20. Annunciation church
  21. Annunciation church inaugurated 1960 This is another beautiful and large church built in conjunction with the convent serving the Dominican community in Birgu. There was another much more beautiful than this one which unfortunately was lost in World War II on Sunday 19th January 1941 and the Dominicans including the Maltese lost a jewel and a treasure
  22. Inquisitor's Palace
  23. Inquisitor’sPalace: TheInquisitor'sPalacewastheseatoftheInquisition inMaltafrom1571to1798.ThePalacehasnowbeenconvertedintoa museumbutbefore,ithaditsownchapel,libraryandrooms
  24. Adelfa (Nerium Oleander)
  25. The term Cottonera is synonymous with the Three Cities
  26. Advanced gate- the second of the three main gates, located on the right face of St. John Bastion Birgu had four city gates, three of which still survive
  27. The fortifications of Birgu are a series of defensive walls and other fortifications which sur- round the city. The first fortification to be built was Fort Saint Angelo in the Middle Ages, and the majority of the fortifications were built between the 16th and 18th centuries by the Order of Saint John. Most of the fortifications remain largely intact today.
  28. Birgu's fortifications have been on Malta's tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1998, as part of the Knights' Fortifications around the Harbours of Malta
  29. Couvre Porte Counterguard – a pentagonal counterguard built to protect St. John Bastion. It was built during the reign of Antoine de Paule, and was modified in the 18th and 19th centuries. The British developed its casemates into a barracks, which now houses the Malta at War Museum The Couvre Porte counterguard in Vittoriosa is to be restored to its former glory and will once again become an imposing structure Scars of War
  30. Text: Internet Pictures: Sanda Foişoreanu Internet All  copyrights  belong to their  respective owners Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu Sound: Mary Spiteri - Ghalxejn; Thema 79 2017

Editor's Notes

  1. This is another beautiful and large church built in conjunction with the convent serving the Dominican community in Birgu. There was another much more beautiful than this one which unfortunately was lost in World War II on Sunday 19th January 1941 and the Dominicans including the Maltese lost a jewel and a treasure. The Dominican community came to Birgu from Rabat in 1528. The present church was built and inaugurated in 1960. In the older one Inquisitor Fabio Chigi had his first Pontifical in Malta, and he was elected Pope as Alexander VII in Rome. Fabio Chigi was from Siena and was also a Dominican who lived in his palace in Birgu for five years from 1634 to 1639. The older church was inaugurated in August 1657 and its façade was built in 1642, but the foundation stone was laid in 1639 by Fabio Chigi, a former Inquisitor. The church was restored in 1806 after the damage suffered due to the Polverista explosion at the wharf, and in 1864 other restorations were carried out. It remained without the dome until one was built in 1924 and was designed by architect Gustavo Soler. Many writers attributed the older church to Francesco Buonamici. He was very active in those years in Malta, and according to Leonard Mahoney (the highest authority on ecclesiastical building) even the Inquisitor’s Palace was re-modelled by him in the same period. (see the publication “Churches, Chapels and Oratories in Birgu” by the same auther). The feast of St Dominic is celebrated on the last Sunday of August.
  2. Inquisitor’s Palace in Vittoriosa (Birgu) The Inquisitor’s Palace was a quite small building at the beginning. Until the year 1574 it served as Castellania that was the court at that time. Afterwards it served as the seat for the 63 Inquisitors, the court and a prison. The Inquisition was supported by the Grand Master Cassière. An Inquisitor was a representative which was sent to Malta by the church to crash anyone who had any doubts regarding the religion and the church’s authority. They were also responsible to solve any dispute which might have arisen between the knights and the bishops. The institution lasted until 1798 when Napoleon burnt it down. Two of the 63 Inquisitors were elected as Pope: Fabio Chigi (1599-1667) as Alexander VII and Antonio Pignatelli (1615-1700) as Innocent XII. During the time of the British in Malta it served as accommodation for officers for a short period of time. After the war it was handed over to the Dominican Monks, since their church was destroyed during the war.
  3. Adelfa (Nerium Oleander)