This blog is dedicated to Malta - my island home. My aim is not to bore you with history but to share my thoughts and a few facts together with a photo or two. For a more in -depth background of the island please go here. The purpose of this blog is not to point out the short-comings of the island. There are plenty that do that already. My wish is to show you the beauty of an island at the cross roads of the Mediterranean, a melting pot of history; a place where fact and fiction are sometimes fused to create unique myths and legends; a country that has been conquered so many times that our culture is a mish mesh of the lands that surround us and of lands far away. I confess that my greatest desire is to make you fall in love with this tiny enchanting island.


Sunday 28 March 2010

Birgu – Citta Vittoriosa

Birgu is a medieval harbour town on the east coast of the island. Its origins date back to Roman times but the city we know today has gone through a very chequered history which has made it into the place we know today. The name Vittoriosa (victorious) was bestowed on Birgu after it emerged victorious from the siege of 1565. A walk through its street is like walking through a living history book. Like Mdina it is a town of narrow streets, palaces and churches. However, unlike Mdina, which has retreated behind its bastions dreaming of its past, Birgu is a more vibrant city.

When the Knights of St John moved to Malta in 1530 they took up residence in Birgu so as to be close to their galleys and they stayed there until Valletta was built across the harbour in 1566. Birgu also has close ties with the Royal Navy who used the harbour to berth their ships and built their dockyard in the adjoining town of Bormla.

The photos below are just a very small introduction to the many gems that Birgu has to offer. Indeed, like many of the other historical areas on the island, it will take several posts to do justice to the history, architecture and legends of this old maritime town. Let’s say that today’s post is just a short introduction.

The church of St Lawrence, designed by famous  Maltese Baroque architect Lorenzo Gafa.

Birgu 172


Birgu 147

Birgu 119

Birgu 121

Birgu 125


The area behind the church.

Birgu 122

Birgu 123

Birgu 128


A balcony in Birgu’s main square.

Birgu 130


The narrow, winding streets leading off of the main square.

Birgu 135

Birgu 136

Birgu 137


The Norman house in Birgu.

Birgu 140

View out of the window of the Norman house.

Birgu 142


Entrance to the Birgu waterfront. The arch and the adjacent building was built during the British period.

Birgu 182

The Royal Navy bakery, built in 1840, which now houses the Maritime  Museum.

Birgu 150

Birgu 162

Birgu 155


  1. Howdy Loree
    Thank you ,thank you and thank you for sharing so much beauty today.
    I enjoy all the history you provide as well as the vivid images that make me yearn to travel and see these fabulous places you photograph in person .
    You have a natural gift of seeing much more than a building you have the gift of sharing it's depth it's soul if you will .
    I am so glad you are here and willing to post so many beautiful photos that make my life so much richer with each visit.
    Have a wonderful day !
    Happy Trails

  2. Thank you Loree for this beautiful tour..

  3. The buildings are all gorgeous! I'm surprised how narrow the streets are; they look very different from the ones in my city.

  4. I am always surprised when I see your pictures because they remind me so much Italy.

  5. Hi Loree...magnificent..and your photography i so spectacular...wow! What beautiful inspiring scenes..i am in love! Vittorioso..love it..as my name is Vittoria!

  6. Wonderful impressions of the architecture and buildings. Greetings from Luzia.

  7. So many beautiful photos! I'm pleased that you managed to visit the Norman house too. Isn't it a lovely place?!

  8. Thank you for the lovely historical tour; such beautiful buildings! It's very easy to daydream of walking down these ancient streets. =)

  9. Now that's a place I would love. It's beautiful and steeped in the history that fascinates me.

  10. I love the color of Maltese stone. How everything is built in the same style and hues of that wonderful color. And then that sudden flash of apple green in that exquisite balcony... precious.

    Thank you Loree for taking us on this very special insider tour of Malta!

    ELe xx

  11. PS: re my RED wine post... it was delicious!! Thanks for your kind comment, Loree.


  12. What a beautiful place! I enjoyed the tour, thank you so much!

  13. Such beautiful, historic buildings. Even more so than here in New England!

    I love the alley way with all the plants. Everything looks so clean too, unlike our cities. How I'd love to come visit such a beautiful place!


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