Properties For Sale in Cospicua


Located in the southeastern region of Malta, Bormla, which also goes by its Knights-given name Cospicua on account of the “conspicuous” (brave) role played by its people during the Great Siege of 1565, is the most densely populated of the fortified Three Cities, the other two of which are Birgu (aka Vittoriosa), and L-Isla (Senglea). All form part of the Grand Harbour. The name Bormla is thought to derive from the Arabic Bir Mula, which means “well of the Lord”. Bormla is also less commonly referred to as Belt l-Immakulata (City of the Immaculate), in honour of the city’s patron, the Immaculate Conception, for whom an annual feast is held on December 8th.

History of Cospicua

Inhabited since Neolithic times, Bormla’s maritime facilities date back to the Phoenician era, but its famous fortification walls, known as the Santa Margherita Lines and the Cottonera Lines, were not built until the 17th century. These were the work of the Knights Hospitaller, who were also responsible for the construction of the city’s dockyard, which remained in extensive use under British rule through subsequent historical events, such as the Crimean War and WWI. When Malta gained its independence, this same dockyard dotted with Georgian architecture went on to spark controversy due to its cost of operations, and was consequently downsized. Bormla, along with the rest of the Grand Harbour area, was heavily bombed during WWII by the Axis Powers, but has since been rebuilt.

Traditions and Landmarks

Aside from the annual patron’s feast, Bormla is known for L-Irxoxt, Maltese for “The Resurrected”, an Easter Sunday tradition dating back to the 18th century where a statue of the resurrected Christ is carried through the city’s streets for four hours to celebrate his triumph over death, and then returned to Bormla’s most iconic church – the Collegiate Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception. The Mejda tal-Appostli (Apostle Table), a Maundy Thursday artistic tradition displaying the food eaten during the Last Supper in various places around Malta, has its roots in Bormla. The city’s aforementioned fortifications are a tourist attraction in themselves, culminating in certain areas such as the gateway known as St Helen’s Gate or Vilhena Gate. Churches other than the parish, such as that of St Theresa, and the chapels of St Paul and St Margaret, are also noteworthy attractions. A lesser-known gem in the heart of Bormla is the Bir Mula Heritage Museum, where the evolution of regular Maltese life and dwellings over the centuries can be clearly witnessed within the walls of this 1000-year-old house-turned-museum. The Lodge, a 16th century Knights-built edifice used for hosting events, as well as another 16th century housing a community radio station, are just two of many more sites of historic value in Bormla.

Fun facts

  • Bormla’s football team, St George’s FC, is thought to be the oldest on the island, with written evidence indicating that three football teams were already established by 1885.
  • One of Malta’s first Regatta teams was formed in Bormla.
  • Arguably Malta’s most famous Prime Minister, Dom Mintoff, was born in Bormla.

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