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Places of Interest

Fortifications

Santa Margherita Lines (1638-1736) are also known as Firenzuola Lines. There fortifications were named after Fra Vincenzo Maculano de Firenzuola, a domenican friar who suggested this line of fortifications. It was an attack by the Turks on the villages of Zabbar and Zejtun (nearby villages to the Three Cities) that set off the idea for the building of this massive line of fortifications. St. Helen’s Gate also forms part of the Margherita Lines.

The Cottonera Lines (1670 - 1720). This enormous line of fortifications was named after Grandmaster Nicholas Cottoner. Although these walls were never completed by the Knights of St. John, the British added a lot of interesting and impressive buildings such as Fort Verdala (today a government housing estate) and the St. Clement's Retrenchment (presently a school)during their occupation of the Maltese Islands.

Windmills

Almost all of the windmills we have in Malta were built by the Knights of Saint John. Most of them were built between 1663 and 1773, but some were built by Lascaris (1636-1657).Grandmaster Nicolas Cottoner (1663-1680) and his brother Rafael (1660-1663) also built two windmills in Bormla, which are unique in the Three Cities. These can be found in St. John Street and in Windmill Street

Monuments

The War Victims Monument is situated in the Parish Church area, exactly in Bormla Wharf. It was inaugurated on the 19th November, 1994, as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary from the pilgrimage with the Immaculate Conception Statue from Birkirkara to Bormla in 1944. The pilgrimage took place at the end of the 2nd World War to celebrate the fact that inspite of the heavy bombardments during the 2nd World War in the drydocks proximities, the Parish Church miraculously stood still without any damages
We also recommend that visitors to the three cities, spare some time to walk through a number of medieval streets in Bormla such as Nelson Street, Alexander Street, St. Lazzarus Street, Narrow Street, Matty Grima Street and St. Michael Street.

Museums 

Bir Mula Heritage ( House Museu​m)

St Clement Retrenchment 

The building of the Cottonera Lines in 1670 in front of the Sta Margerita Lines created a large open and undefended space. The British authorities realised the need to better defend this stretch of open ground. A retrenchment was planned and started being built in 1849. This was meant to cover the open space in between the two 17th centuries lines of fortifications, thus not providing any free line of fire to the enemy. Built in front of Fort Verdala, these fortifications seemed to be an extension. The fortifications were completed by 1860. Eventually it started being used as a naval school by the end of the 19th century. Prisoners of War during the two World Wars were kept in both Fort Verdala as well as the St Clement Retrenchment.

It-Trunċiera ta’ San Klement

Il-bini tas-swar tal-Kottonera fl-1670, quddiem is-swar ta’ Santa Margerita, ħolqu medda ta’ art imdaqqsa wiesa u b’ħafna spazjuż miftuħ. L-awtoritajiet militari Ingliżi kienu tal-fehma li dan l-ispazju kellu jkun difiż ferm aħjar. Kien għalhekk li ġiet ippjanata trunċiera, li l-bini tagħha ingħata bidu fl-1849. Dan kien intiż biex ikopri u jiddefendi dak l-ispazju miftuħ ta’ bejn il-linji tas-swar li inbnew fis-seklu 17. B’hekk l-għadu ma jkollux spazju miftuħ li kieku jkunu javvanzaw s’hemm. Din it-trunċiera inbniet quddiem il-Forti Verdala, u fil-fatt kien jidher li dawn kienu kontinwazzjoni ta’ xulxin. Il-bini tat-trunċiera kien lest fl-1860. Aktar tard, lejn l-aħħar tas-seklu 19, il-post beda jintuża bhala skola navali. Matul iz-zewg Gwerer Dinji il-post intuża biex jinżammu priġunieri tal-gwerra, kemm fil-Forti Verdala, kif ukoll fit-trunċiera ta’ San Klement.​

St Helen’s Gate

The main gate to Bormla through the Sta Margerita Lines is St Helen’s Gate. This baroque gate was designed by Francois Mondion in the 1730s when the Sta Margerita Lines were being completed. The gate originally had one entrance, and it had a drawbridge over a ditch. The two side breaches in the fortifications were done to facilitate the passing of traffic. The gate is decorated in the baroque manner. It has two coat-of-arms, which have been defaced, while flanking these there are two stone mortars. For this reason, the gate was also known as Porta dei Mortari. An inscription commemorates the building of the gate. The guard room was located inside the gate. 

Il-Bieb ta’ Santa Elena

Id-daħla prinċipali għal Bormla mis-swar ta’ Santa Margerita huwa il-Bieb ta’ Santa Elena. Dan il-bieb mibni fuq stil barokk, kien iddiżinjat minn Francois Mondion fit-tletinijiet tas-seklu 18, meta il-bini tas-swar ta’ Santa Margerita kienu qed jiġu fit-tmiem tagħhom. Il-Bieb oriġinarjament kellu daħla waħda biss, u quddiem kien hemm pont li  jittela. Il-fetħiet li naraw illum, waħda fuq kull naħa saru ħalli jkun jista’ jgħaddi it-traffiku b’aktar kumdità. Il-Bieb huwa iddekorat fuq l-istil barokk. Naraw żewġ emblemi, lit-tnejn li huma ġew imħassra, filwaqt li fuq kull naħa hemm ukoll bus, tip ta’ kanun. Minħabba f’hekk dan il-bieb kien magħruf ukoll bħala il-Bieb tal-Busijiet, il-kelma Maltija li tirreferi għal dan it-tip ta’ kanun. Hemm iskrizzjoni li tfakkar il-bini ta’ dan il-bieb. Fuq wara tal-bieb kien hemm il-post ta’ l-g

ħassa.​

Sta Margerita Lines

Due to fears that Malta was to be attacked by an Ottoman force, the Order of St John invited a military engineer over to Malta to suggest possible upgrades to the defences of the harbour area. The engineer, Fra Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola, a Dominica priest, suggested the building of a line of fortifications surrounding Bormla. These fortifications were to be built on high ground, thus providing better protection to Senglea and Vittoriosa.  The fortifications were not completed immediately, and it was during the 18th century that further additions were carried out in order to make them better. Eventually, with the building of the Cottonera Lines, the Sta Margerita Lines did not remain the first line of defence. The majority of these fortifications are still sta

nding.

Il-Linji tas-Swar ta’ Santa Marger

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Minħabba il-biża li Malta kienet se tkun il-mira ta’ attakk minn qawwa Ottomana, il-kavallieri ta’ l-Ordni ta’ San Ġwann stiednu perit militari biex jagħtihom il-pariri kif jistgħu itejbu id-difiżi ta’ madwar il-port il-kbir. Il-perit kien il-Patri Dumnikan, Fra Vincenzo Maculano da Firenzuola. Dan issuġġerixxa li kellhom jinbnew linji tas-swar madwar Bormla. Is-swar kellhom jinbnew fuq l-għolja magħrufa bħala ta’ Santa Margerita, u b’hekk kienu joffru difiża aħjar għall-Isla u l-Birgu. Il-bini tal-linji tas-swar ma kienx mitmum mill-ewwel, u kien fis-seklu 18 li ġew miżjuda aktar swar biex itejbu id-difiża tagħhom. Mal-medda taż-żmien, bil-bini tas-swar tal-Linji Kottonera, il-linji tas-Swar ta’ Santa Margerita ma baqgħux daqshekk ta’ importanza militari. Il-parti l-kbira ta’ dawn il-linji tas-swar għadhom weqfin.​

Verdala Barrack

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Fort Verdala started being built in 1852, between the Sta Margerita Lines and the Cottonera Lines.  It was completed in 1856. The fort was provided with two gates and both are decorated. Till the 1890s the fort was provided with a number of armaments until they were removed. The fort was then turned into barracks for military personnel stationed in the area. During the First World War Fort Verdala was used to host prisoners-of-war. Amongst the most famous there were the German naval officers, Franz Joseph, Prince of Hohenzollern-Emden, Karl von Muller and Karl Donitz. During the interwar period the fort housed a school for children of Royal Navy personnel. The fort was once again used as a prisoner of war camp during the Second World War. Fort Verdala was handed over to the Government of Malta in 1977.

Il-Baraks ta’ Verdala

Il-Forti Verdala bdiet tinbena fl-1852. Din inbniet bejn il-linji tas-Swar ta’ Santa Margerita u il-Linji tas-Swar tal-Kottonera. Il-bini ġie fit-tmiem tiegħu fl-1856.il-foprti kellha żewġ daħliet, u it-tnejn li huma kellhom id-d-dekorazzjoni mad-dawra tal-bieb. Sad-disgħinijiet tas-seklu 19, il-forti kellha numru ta’ artillerija, sakemm dawn ġew imwarrba minn hemm. Il-forti imbagħad inbidlet għall-użu ta’ baraks fejn setgħu joqgħodu uffiċjali militari li kienu stazzjonata fl-inħawi. Matul l-Ewwel Gwerra Dinjija il-Forti Verdala laqgħet numru ta’ priġunieri tal-gwerra. Fost l-aktar famużi kien hemm uffiċjali navali Ġermaniżi, Franz Joseph, Prince of Hohenzollern-Emden, Karl von Muller u Karl Donitz. Bejn iz-zewg gwerer il-forti intużat bħala skola għat-tfal ta’ uffiċjali tal-Flotta Irjali Ingliża. Il-forti reġgħet intużat bħala kamp tal-ħabs għal priġunieri tal-gwerra matul it-Tieni gwerra Dinjija. Il-Forti Verdala għaddiet f’idejn il-Gvern Malti fl-1977.​

Windmills

At Bormla there are two windmills, both of them built in 1674. The windmills were built by the Cotoner Foundation. This foundation was set up by Grand Master Nicholas Cotoner in order to pay the salary of soldiers stationed in Fort Ricasoli, through the money that was generated through the renting of these properties. There is one at San Ġwann T’Għuxa which costed 1200 scudi to be built. It was rented out for 300 scudi a year. In 1809 this windmill was damaged after it was hit by lightning, only to be restored and start working again in 1832. This windmill stopped functioning in 1879. The second windmill was known as the Sta Margerita Windmill, being located near the Sta Margerita church and monastery. It had the same financial arrangements as the previous one. This windmill continued to be used till 1916.

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F’Bormla hemm żewġ imtieħen, it-tnejn li huma inbnew fl-1674. Dawn l-imtieħen inbnew mill-Fondazzjoni Cotoner. Din il-fondazzjoni twaqqfet mill-Gran Mastru Nikol Cotoner biex mill-flus li jidħlu minħabba il-kirjiet ta’ l-imtieħen, ikunu jistgħu jitħallsu is-suldati li kienu stazzjonati fil-Forti Rikażli. Waħda mill-imtieħen tinsab f’San Ġwann t’Għuxa, u din swiet 1200 skud biex inbniet. Kienet tinkera għal 300 skud fis-sena. Fl-1809 il-mitħna ġarrbet ħsarat minħabba li intlaqtet minn sajjetta, għalkemm ġiet irranġata u bdiet taħdem mill-ġdid fl-1832. Din il-mitħna waqfet taħdem fl-1879. It-tieni mitħna hija magħrufa bħala ta’ Santa Margerita, minħabba li tinsab viċin il-knisja u l-Monasteru ta’ Santa Margerita. Kellha l-istess arranġamenti finanzjarji bħal l-oħra. Din il-mitħna baqgħet taħdem sa’ l-1916.​