The second largest and second most populous town in Malta (25,000), Birkirkara is located in the central region of the island, occupying an area of approximately 2.7 sqm adjacent to other major urban centres such as San Gwann, Sliema, and Valletta. Over the years, Birkirkara, one of Malta’s oldest established cities, has grown into a vibrant commercial and cultural hub, attracting both tourists and residents alike. Known for its hilly terrain, its most famous valley is Wied il-Luq, which flows towards the east coast. Often abbreviated as B’Kara, the town’s name is variably thought to derive from the Arabic words for “well” (bir) and “settlement” (kara) – therefore “settlement near the well” or it could just as well mean “cold/running water”, a tribute to the town’s valley. Its motto, in hoc signo vinces, means “in this sign, thou shalt conquer”, and its coat of arms is a plain red cross, surmounted by a crown.

Birkirkara’s Town History

Birkirkara’s first-known inhabitants date back to prehistoric times, though Phoenician and Roman artefacts have also been found in the region. However, it was during the Arab occupation of Malta, between 870 and 1090 AD, that Birkirkara began to flourish. The town was declared a royal city, and its central location made it an important trading post. Following the Norman conquest of Malta, Birkirkara became a thriving farming community, and its population grew steadily. B’Kara continued to endure sieges, invasions, and occupations well into the Renaissance and beyond, including those by the Knights Hospitaller, the Turks, the French, and most recently, the British, who occupied Malta for more than 150 years.   Notable landmarks in Birkirkara   Among a myriad of beautiful churches is the baroque Basilica of St Helen, known for having Malta’s largest church bell (and one of the largest in Europe), Saint Therese of Lisieux Church, and B’kara’s oldest church – Santwarju Madonna tal-Herba.  Mithna, found in Bwieraq Street, is an 18th century windmill which serves as a home to the Gabriel Caruana Foundation, named after a famous local artist. Separating the historic district from the more modern area of B’Kara lies the Old Railway Station, located in a public garden. It has been defunct since 1931.  Other historic buildings of note are the inoperative Roxy Cinema, the B’Kara Tower (Ghar il-Gobon), Tal-Weiter Tower, Villa Lauri, Ta’ Ganu Windmill, and most famously, Malta’s 17th century aqueduct, which runs through B’Kara, among other neighbouring towns.  

Birkirkara is also Home to…

 
  • Birkirkara’s multi-sport club, St Joseph Sports Club, offers cycling, swimming, triathlon training, and football, the latter of which is taken the most seriously; players can compete nationally. 
  • Birkirkara has produced some recognizable individuals, including the Greco-Maltese adventurer and 16th century Moldavian ruler, Iacob Heraclid, the former Prime Minister and President of Malta, Eddie Fenech Adami, and Malta’s first-ever president – Sir Anthony Mamo.
  • Malta is twinned with a number of European towns, including Italy’s Grosseto, Sorrento, and Longobardi, as well as Carbonne in France.
  • Malta’s first brewery – Simonds Farsons Cisk – is located here, as well as the headquarters of Malta’s financial regulator – Malta Financial Services Authority.
  • The charitable organisations of Dar Pirotta, Dar Papa Frangisku, and the Richmond Foundation, can all be found in Birkirkara.

Apartments for Sale in Birkirkara

Villas for Sale in Birkirkara