Beautiful and colorful festive decorations in Birgu during August. The quiet and cool narrow streets offer a welcoming atmosphere to all visitors of this lovely and well kept town, very well complemented by the kind villagers who are always ready to start a chat while looking down from their balcony.
Birgu was the site of a major battle between the Knights and the Ottoman Empire during the 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 1565, but was recaptured by the Knights under Grand Master Jean Parisot de la Valette. Further forces arrived a month later, and the siege was abandoned by the Ottomans. 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 much of its importance. After the Siege, Birgu was given the title Città Vittoriosa, Italian for “victorious city”.
In recent years, due to an agreement made by the Maltese Government with Sovereign Military Order of Malta, this Catholic Order of Knighthood has returned to the Island. This agreement, which has a duration of 99 years, grants the Knights of Malta the exclusive use of Fort St Angelo in Birgu.
After the taking of Malta by Napoleon in 1798, and his eviction by the Maltese, the British were invited to Malta and the British Navy made Birgu its base in the Mediterranean, and remained there until 1979.
It is indeed one of the more unique towns of Malta with an equally unique blend of interesting history and features for all to enjoy.
Location Map for Birgu:
View Narrow streets of Birgu in a larger map