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Cospicua (also known as Bormla) is a double-fortified city located on the East side in the Grand Harbour of Malta, opposite Valletta. Cospicua is flanked by Senglea (Isla) on the West and Vittoriosa (Birgu) on the East, making up the Cottonera region, also known as The Three Cities. Cospicua is the largest of the three, with a population of 5,642. Cospicua was declared a city in 1722 by Grandmaster Marc Antonio Zondadari. Cospicua was already inhabited during megalithic times. In fact, three megalithic structures and a number of tools and flints were found together. It was the latest city to be fortified, with the bastions built by the Knights. During the times of the Phoenicians, the city served as a shelter for their ships. Graves from this era were found in different areas of the town. During the Carthaginian and Roman occupation, the harbour facilities were enhanced, and the Dockyard Creek started to be used as well.


In 1776, the Knights of St. John constructed a dockyard, which played an important role in the history of Cospicua. The British made extensive use of the dockyard, particularly during the First and Second World War. With Malta’s independence, the dockyard became one of the most economic controversies of the island, and it is only recently that plans for privatisation moved forward. Like any other town in Malta, Cospicua has a religious patron, in this case the Immaculate Conception or the Virgin Mary. The residents' devotion can be seen in the Parish church dedicated to Her and in the annual feast held on the 8th of December. Cospicua is also known for the statues used in the Good Friday procession, and for the artistic displays of the ‘Last Supper’.

Things to see and do:


The Parish Church of Immaculate Conception: This 17th century church is a monumental building in Cospicua, famous for its miraculous withstanding of the Second World War Bombings.


City walls and Fortifications: The Cottonera Lines are evidence of the historic times Cospicua passed through.


The War Memorial: This monument is located in front of the Parish Church of Cospicua. It was created by Michael Camilleri Cauchi in 1994 as part of the commemorations of the 50th anniversary from the pilgrimage held at the end of the Second World War, when the statue of the Immaculate Conception was returned to Cospicua. This monument represents triumph over the war; Cospicua was badly damaged apart from the parish church that remained intact.


The Georgian Architecture at the Dock area


Local streets and alleys: Quaint alleys surrounded with traditional Maltese houses provide a romantic and peaceful atmosphere.


St.Helen's Gate: (also known as Vilhena Gate) forming part of the Santa Margherita lines.


Bir Mula Heritage: an ethnography, social history, anthropology museum and cultural venue

Getting there

Bus number 4 from Valletta

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