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Cospicua


Human activity at Bormla started as far back as the megalithic age. Stretching on five high hills overlooking the Grand Harbour, Bormla has provided shelter and vessel repair facilities since ancient times. The maritime connection with other cultures helped the Bormla population to gradually become renowned for its refined abilities in various fields of craftsmanship, the arts and the sciences, some of whom became world famous for their achievements and works both on the Maltese Islands or elsewhere. The arrival of the Hospitaller Knights in 1530 saw the birth of another two new towns adjacent to Bormla, increasing the maritime and economic activity and augmenting the population.

During the Great Siege of 1565, the Bormla heights proved most ideal to the Ottoman army against the other two fortified towns. The Great Siege showed the importance of fortifying Bormla if the Knights wished to safeguard their other two towns and especially the maritime resources and facilities at Bormla. This led to the building of two strong lines of baroque fortifications all along the hills of Bormla: the St. Margerita Lines (1638) and the Cottonera Lines (1670). Though they were never put to the test, both Napoleon (1798) and Nelson (1800) have expressed their impossibility to enter the city once no one could have opened the Gates for them. Educational initiatives, institutions and schools started early in Bormla, and most of the present Maltese private schools and colleges saw their infancy there. Though Bormla had benefitted from the arrival of the British Empire through an increase in the maritime facilities, docks and educational and economic activity, heavy World War II air-raid bombings had forced most of the population out of their homes to seek refuge in rock-cut shelters and safer distant villages. After the war, the decline of the Dockyard and the urbanisation of Malta caused another flow of emigration both overseas and to new villages on the Islands.

The long post-war reconstruction phase and the substitution of houses of character with new government apartment blocks led to a decline in its social infrastructure, spreading the earlier prosperous population and culture to most of the villages and new towns. Though Bormla went through hard times, it is still rich in authentic heritage that gives the visitor a unique experience and re-establishes Bormla as the shining jewel of The Three Cities with most of its architectural, artistic and cultural assets available to experience. Though the old Dock area is a mixture of both old and new features, a visit to the older areas in the St. Margerita area is recommended. Bormla is also known as Citta’ Cottonera, a title conferred to it by Grand Masters Nicola Cotoner in 1670. It is also more commonly known as Citta’ Cospicua, a title given by Marc Antonio Zondadari in 1720. Among popular events that attract crowds to the city are the events of Holy Week and Easter Sunday, the feast of the Immaculate Conception and other annual cultural festivals.

 

Attractions in Bormla:

1.    Cottonera Lines
Address: Outer fortifications of the city

2.    St. John Almoner Church
Address: Triq San Gwann Ta’ghuxa
Contact person: Bormla Local Council
Telephone: +356 2166 3030 or +356 2166 5337
Email: bormla.lc@gov.mt

3.    St. Helen’s Gate
Address: Part of the Margerita Lines; follow Triq Il-Kurunazzjoni inside the lines and Triq L-Immakulata outside the Margerita Lines 

4.    Nativity Chapel (Underground Chapel)
Address: Triq Il- Kurunazzjoni
Contact person: Bormla Local Council
Telephone: +356 2166 3030 or +356 2166 5337
Email: bormla.lc@gov.mt

5.    Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception and Oratory of our Lady of Sorrow
Address: Triq Il-Pellegrinagg
Contact Person: Rev. Archpriest
Telephone: +356 2182 8413
Opening hours: mornings and afternoons during religious services

6.    Dock 1
Address: at the end of Gavino Gulia Square. 

7.    Galley’s Store


8.    St. Theresa’s Church
Address: 1, Triq Santa Tereza 
Contact Person: Father Prior
Telephone: +356 2182 6111 or +356 2182 2343
Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 6.00pm – 7.00pm, 
Sun: 8.00am – 9.30am and 3.45pm – 4.45pm 


9.    St. Theresa’s Priory
Address: 1, Triq Santa Tereza 
Contact Person: Father Prior
Telephone: +356 2182 6111 or +356 2182 2343
Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 6.00pm – 7.00pm, 
Sun: 8.00am – 9.30am and 3.45pm – 4.45pm 

10.    Medieval Quarter 
Address: Triq Nelson, Triq Xandru

11.    St. Joseph Chapel and ‘Conservatorio’
Address: Triq San Gorg 

12.    Bormla Local Council 
Address: 2A, ‘The Rest’, Pjazza Santa Margerita
Telephone: +356 2166 3030 or +356 2166 5337
Email: bormla.lc@gov.mt

13.    St. Margerita’s Monastery
Address: 1, Triq Santa Margerita
Telephone: +356 2182 6111, through St. Theresa’s Priory
Contact Person: Prioress Nun
Telephone: +356 2182 0558

14.    Bishop Gargallo’s Residence
Address: Triq Santa Margerita, 9-12
Private Residence, not open to the public

15.    St. Margerita Windmill
Address: Triq Il-Mithna

16.    Bir Mula Heritage (Social History Museum and Gallery)
Address: 79, Triq Santa Margerita
Contact Person: Mr. John Vella
Telephone: +356 2182 6910 or +356 2182 6427 or +356 9927 3276
Email: info@birmula.com
Website: www.birmula.com
Opening hours: Saturday and Sunday: 10.00am – 12.00pm or by appointment
Pre-booking is necessary, especially for group activities not held during regular opening hours or specialised tours. 

17.    Rock Gate Cemetery
Address: Triq Il-Gublew tal-Fiddla

18.    Former Bonnici Market/Former Parade Ground
Address: Triq Santa Margerita

19.    Former Fort Verdala
Address: Triq Alessandra

20.    St. Margerita Lines
Address: Inner Fortifications of the City

Places of Refreshment 

St. George Band Club - Bar serving hot/cold beverages and some snacks
Address: Paolino Vascallo
Telephone: +356 2189 7532
Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 8.00am – 7.00pm and Sundays and Public Holidays: 9.00am – late afternoon. All day – till night during the local festival days. 

Socjeta’ Regatta Bormla
Pizzeria, Bar and Restaurant
Address: Triq Santa Tereza
Open mornings and afternoons.

Additional Information: 
Various small bars, confectioneries and take-aways are available along the wharf. 

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