Monday, August 16, 2010

Birgu Marina

Birgu Marina
The colorful Maltese boat or "Dghajsa" ferries tourists across the historical waters of the marina where the mighty fleet of the Knights of St. John once berthed.

Sent by Silvan, a Facebook friend from Għaxaq in Malta.

Note : This is the first postcard received from Malta.

This is from Wikipedia : Birgu (Maltese: Città Vittoriosa or Birgu, Italian: Città Vittoriosa or Vittoriosa) is an ancient city in Malta. It played a vital role in the Siege of Malta in 1565. Its population stood at 2,633 in December 2008.

Birgu, is a very old locality on the south side of the Grand Harbour in Malta with its origins reaching back to prehistoric times. The town occupies a promontory of land with Fort St Angelo at its head and the city of Cospicua at its base.

Birgu is ideally situated for safe anchorage, and over time it has developed a very long history with maritime, mercantile and military activities. Prior to the establishment of Valletta as capital and main city of Malta, military powers that wanted to rule the Maltese islands would need to obtain control of Birgu due to its significant position in the Grand Harbour. Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, the Angevines, the Aragonese and the Knights of St. John all contributed to the development of Birgu. But none more so than the Knights. Being driven out of Rhodes by the Turks, the Knights were granted Malta as their new home. When the Knights arrived in 1530, they made Birgu the capital city of Malta, since the former capital, Mdina, was inland and did not suit their naval requirements. Almost as soon as they took up residence, the Knights undertook a series of works designed to improve the fortification at Fort St Angelo and of the whole area of the three cities. These works give Birgu and for that matter the whole Maltese island its distinctive architectural character that can be seen today. (Read more)

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