Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Birgu/Vittoriosa, Malta Part I

Across the Grand Harbor from Valletta is an area known as the Three Cities. We visited one of the cities which was called Birgu by the Knights of Malta who came in the 1500s but has been renamed Vittoriosa. Both names are used by locals and by maps and signs and guide books. It's a bit confusing.

We parked on the fortified edge of Birgu near a memorial to St. Dominic, founder of the Dominican order.

St. Dominic (you can tell by the dog!)

Gate of Provence, one way into the city

In the center of town is Pjazza Vittoriosa or Victory Square. It celebrates the defeat of the Turks in the Great Siege of 1565. A statue of Victory and another of St. Lawrence grace the square.

Great Siege Victory Memorial

Statue close up

St. Lawrence statue

Another close up

We came back to the square for lunch and sat in the restaurant's courtyard which had a fountain full of fish. At least, that's what J and L reported when they went to check it out.

Happily, no fish were on the menu

The restaurant was especially entertaining because one of the buildings above was having some metal railings delivered. Apparently the easiest way to get them where they were going was to hoist them up from the restaurant courtyard. The kids loved watching various items go up, up, up. I was too shy to take a picture of it, though.

Victory Square has many fun-looking shops, including this cafe.

I love a half-door

The main church in Birgu is St. Lawrence Parish Church which was not open for visitors. The Church Museum was open and the fellow inside was quite pleasant and informative. He was also generous, giving L a small book on St. Lawrence and J a coin.

St. Lawrence Church

Plaque from Pope John Paul II's visit

The church museum

Altar in the church museum

Hat and sword of Valetta, victorious commander during the Great Siege

The book and the coin

We wandered the streets finding all sorts of interesting items.

J finds Heaven's door!

World War II memorial

A good spot to hang out!

Next on the blog we visit the marina and Fort St. Angelo!

No comments:

Post a Comment