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.
The area behind the church.
A balcony in Birgu’s main square.
The narrow, winding streets leading off of the main square.
The Norman house in Birgu.
View out of the window of the Norman house.
Entrance to the Birgu waterfront. The arch and the adjacent building was built during the British period.
The Royal Navy bakery, built in 1840, which now houses the Maritime Museum.
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 !
Thank you Loree for this beautiful tour..ReplyDelete
The buildings are all gorgeous! I'm surprised how narrow the streets are; they look very different from the ones in my city.ReplyDelete
I am always surprised when I see your pictures because they remind me so much Italy.ReplyDelete
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!ReplyDelete
Wonderful impressions of the architecture and buildings. Greetings from Luzia.ReplyDelete
So many beautiful photos! I'm pleased that you managed to visit the Norman house too. Isn't it a lovely place?!ReplyDelete
Thank you for the lovely historical tour; such beautiful buildings! It's very easy to daydream of walking down these ancient streets. =)ReplyDelete
Now that's a place I would love. It's beautiful and steeped in the history that fascinates me.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
Thank you Loree for taking us on this very special insider tour of Malta!
PS: re my RED wine post... it was delicious!! Thanks for your kind comment, Loree.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful place! I enjoyed the tour, thank you so much!ReplyDelete
Such beautiful, historic buildings. Even more so than here in New England!ReplyDelete
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!