Birżebbuġa is a seaside town in the Southern Region of Malta, close to Marsaxlokk. It is 8 miles from the capital Valletta, it has a population of 9,736 as of March 2014; the town is popular among Maltese holiday makers, it known for its sandy beach, Pretty Bay. The village is notable for its important archaeological sites Għar Dalam, Ta' Kaċċatura and Borġ in-Nadur. "Birżebbuġa" means "well of olives" in the Maltese language. Such linguistic evidence established early inhabitants were in the south of the island since the first millennium; the name indicates climate and food. Near the village of Birżebbuġa is Għar Dalam, meaning a dark cave. Għar Dalam Cave is a important site, as it was here that the earliest evidence of human presence on Malta was discovered. Artifacts date back to the Neolithic Period some 7,400 years ago; the display area consists of two parts: the cave and the museum, which exhibits a remarkable wealth of finds from animal bones to human artifacts. An overlaying river running at right angles formed the cave.
It is some 144 metres deep. The lowermost layers, more than 500,000 years old, contain the fossil bones of dwarf elephants, micro-mammals and birds. Above the pebble layer is the so-called ‘deer’ layer, dated to around 18,000 years ago; the top layer holds evidence of the first humans on the Island. Experts hold that these remains suggest that the Islands were once a land bridge to continental Europe. Other remains include those of a prehistoric temple or settlement, Borġ in-Nadur, which dates from the Bronze Age; the settlement was fortified with a large stone wall, still visible today. These temple ruins are important because they reveal not only a four-apse temple, but an authentic, fortified Bronze Age domestic settlement; the remains of a large, defensive wall lie nearby, running across the head of a promontory between two valleys leading down to two bays. The wall was built facing inland; the village would have had the sea to its back. This logistic situation leads scholars to believe that the people living in the village were more afraid of being attacked by invaders by land rather than from the sea.
Traces of Bronze Age huts were discovered lying just behind the wall. The depth of the deposits was shallow, covering the remains of the Temple Period. Archaeologists have found evidence that shows that the Neolithic population became extinct and the islands were uninhabited. Archaeologists think that this could have been due to no agricultural produce, civil warfare, or the Neolithic population being murdered by war-like tribes. Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of the three apses of the temple. Beyond the main entrance, there is a wide elliptical area 15 m wide. Only the Trilithon Entrance remains. Visits to these sites can be arranged by appointment. Birżebbuġa has cart ruts that lead into the sea and run along the sea floor. A Roman villa can be found across the valley at Ta' Kaċċatura. In addition to prehistoric sites, the town includes historical structures and remains that date back centuries, revealing changing peoples as the island went through different periods of domination by various political interests.
Such structures include Ferretti Battery, Pinto Battery, the Birżebbuġa entrenchments. These sites date back to the rule of the Order of Saint John, who ruled the Maltese islands from 1530 to 1798. Napoleon ejected the Order from Malta, the island came under Great Britain. During the British period, Fort Benghisa, RAF Kalafrana and RAF Hal Far were built in Birżebbuġa. Churches tell part of the history of the town: St George's Church. In the earth nearby are traces of prehistoric cart ruts. the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, the Immaculate Conception Church at Bengħisa, the Holy Family Chapel, the Chapel of Our Lady Help of Christians, private. Birżebbuġa became a formal parish on 9 September 1913, with a resident priest; some time the parish worked to build a larger church. St. Peter in Chains opened for worship on 12 June 1938; the present parish priest is Rev. Can. Fr Anton Galea-Scannura. During the last decade, there has been an influx of new workers employed at the nearby Malta Freeport and container terminal.
In addition, new residents have come from the neighbouring villages, Birzebbuġa now hosts some 10,000 people. The town is built around the beach, which puts it close to many shops and restaurants along the coastline; some vacationers prefer the rocky shore in the neighbouring St George's Bay, ideal for sun bathing and snorkeling. Sailing is popular throughout the year. St George's Bay is used by local fishermen who moor their boats at the inlet. St George's Bay is famous for its Cart Ruts. To get to Birzebbuga from Valletta you will have to board either the 80 or X4 bus; the X4 passes every 30 minutes to Birzebbuga, 80 every one hour and 82 passes every 15 minutes during the rush hour and 20-30 minutes at other times. Birżebbuġa's coat of arms shows a blue olive branch on a white field; the blue represents the nearby waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the olive branch the major importance of olives to the local economy, in former times. The locality hosts a number of football teams. Birżebbuġa St. Peter's F.
C. nowadays plays in the Maltese First Division after languishing at the bottom of Maltese football for years. As well as its Seniors' team, the club possesses a prospe
Gżira is a town in the Central Region of Malta. It is located between Msida and Sliema bordering on Ta' Xbiex, it has a population of 8,029 as of March 2014. The word Gżira means "island" in Maltese, the town is named after Manoel Island which lies just adjacent to the town; the seafront of Gżira is famed for its views of the walled city of Valletta, which are illuminated at night, forming a picturesque backdrop to Manoel Island, the yacht marina and a seafront public garden. Kappara is located close to Gżira. Orpheum Theatre is located in Gżira. Manoel Island in Gżira's Marsamxett Harbour, was known as l'Isola del Vescovo or il-Gżira tal-Isqof in Maltese. In 1643 Jean Paul Lascaris, Grandmaster of the Knights of Malta, constructed a quarantine hospital on the island, in an attempt to control the periodic influx of plague and cholera on board visiting ships; the island was renamed after António Manoel de Vilhena, a Portuguese Grandmaster of the Knights of Malta under whose leadership Fort Manoel was built in 1726.
Fort Manoel is considered a marvel of 18th-century military engineering. The original plans for the fort are attributed to Louis d'Augbigne Tigné, are said to have been modified by his friend and colleague Charles François de Mondion, buried in a crypt beneath Fort Manoel. At one time, the Knights of Malta considered developing a walled city on Manoel Island, but instead they settled on a fort designed to house up to 500 soldiers; the fort has a magnificent quadrangle, parade ground and arcade, once housed a baroque chapel dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, under the direct command of the Order. During World War II, Manoel Island and its fort were used as a naval base by the Royal Navy, at which time it was referred to variously as "HMS Talbot" or "HMS Phœnicia"; the Chapel of St. Anthony was destroyed following a direct hit by Luftwaffe bombers in March 1942. For several years now, Manoel Island houses a quaint, informal sanctuary for ducks and other waterfowl and maintained by a local volunteer, funded by private donations near the bridge connecting the island with the main island.
As of November 2006, the historic fort was undergoing significant restoration and renovation works, a new housing development was under construction on Manoel Island. The Manoel Island redevelopment project, has been criticized due to its proximity to the island's important historical buildings. A guarded barrier some 300 yards after the bridge makes it clear that the public is not welcome on the largest part of the island. In the mid-19th century a villa was built in Gżira by Chevalier Jacob Tagliaferro. Gżira started developing into a working-class suburb of Sliema; until the 1970s, Gżira had many bars the Snake Pit and the Granada along and in proximity of the Strand, which economic activity ended when the British Service left Malta on 31 March 1979. Tables have turned and the regenerated Gżira is now host to a business community of hoteliers, financial institutions, legal firms, online betting companies, real estate and offices amidst a multi-ethnic and multicultural community of residents.
Since the last decade, Gżira had a real estate boom, new buildings apartments, replace the old buildings. As a result, much of the character and charm of the seafront houses has changed, although in the heart of Gżira there are still examples of traditional Maltese façades, with timber balconies and bow-fronted, wrought iron balconies; the proliferation of modern apartments in Gżira as well as the development of high rise buildings, namely Metropolis and 14 East, led to an inflation of housing prices, as the town became sought after by both Maltese and foreigners. The main reason behind the area's popularity is that it is centrally located in Malta, being close to both the University of Malta and the capital, Valletta. Service industries, commercial outlets and educational services are the town's main activities; the betting company Tipbet has its headquarters in the town on Sir William Reid Street. The crime rate in Gżira is low and the town is as safe as the rest of Malta and Gozo. Gżira's population has been stable over the past few years, hovering around 8,029 people as of March 2014.
It is known as being quite a multicultural town, with well-established and integrated immigrant groups. The Roman Catholic parish church of Gżira is known locally as tal-Ġebla, its literal translation means "of the stone". In fact it is a reference to an incident which took place in Gżira on 10 July 1902. Three British drunken sailors, William Walls, Charles Thurbull and John Packhun, wanted to enter a bar, which at that time of day was closed; when Karmnu Brincat, the owner of the bar, refused to open, the sailors started throwing stones at the place. One of these stones hit a small shrine depicting a picture of Our Lady of Mount Carmel hanging outside the bar; the stone broke the glass of the frame, but did not make contact with the portrait itself, which remained intact. Notwithstanding the wind, the stone remained fixed within the broken glass; the stone was removed by Rev. Anton Manché and taken to the Stella Maris Parish Church in Sliema, whose parish priest at the time was the Rev. Francis Vincent Manché, the brother of Rev. Anton Manché.
For three days and services for reparation were held. Rev. Anton Anton Manché managed to set up a small chapel in Gżira. On 7 July 1913 Bishop Pietro Pace declared the chapel as a vice-parish. On 15 May 1921, Bishop Don Mauro Caruana declared the chapel as a parish. Rev. Anton Anton Manché was the first parish priest of Gżira; the existing parish churc
Nationalist Party (Malta)
The Nationalist Party is a Christian-democratic, conservative political party in Malta. It is one of two major contemporary political parties in Malta, along with the governing Labour Party; the Nationalist Party is in opposition to the Labour Party. Malta's Nationalist Party is the successor to the Anti-Reform Party founded by Fortunato Mizzi in 1883, opposing taxation decreed by the British colonial authorities and measures to anglicise the education and judicial systems during the "language question" period; the presence of Italian exiles from the Risorgimento gave the party a liberal constitutionalist character in the Party's early days and a pro-Italian stance which lasted until the Second World War. The party has long been close to the Catholic Church and is known for its advocacy for human rights, so long they are in line with Roman Catholicism. In 2011 it was noted that its party platform was "far to the right of most other Christian Democratic parties, the Bavarian Christian Social Union in Germany included".
In the following years, the party moved towards more centrist positions. The Nationalist Party opposed the introduction of divorce in Malta in 2011; the party still tolerates anti-LGBT rights statutes, but after suffering two major general elections losses it banned its orthodox principles to attract LGBT voters to gain political power. Through its own media, the party states that LGBT people merit "unequal" treatment, are "sterile" or unproductive, compares the community to Soviet "communism", it voted in favour of gay marriage in 2017. Malta obtained independence from Great Britain in 1964 and joined the European Union in 2004 when the Nationalist Party was in government; the party bans active or former Freemasons from taking active roles, including casting a democratic vote, within the parametres controlled by the party itself. The Party structures are the General and Administrative Councils, the Parliamentary Group, the District Fora and Sectional Committees, the College of Local Councillors and a number of Party branches.
Party officials include the Leader, Deputy Leader, Secretary-General, Presidents of the Party's three councils, International Secretary, Secretary of the Parliamentary Group, Deputy Secretary-General and President of the College of Local Councillors. The General Council is made up of delegates and representatives from the other Party structure, the largest number being delegates elected by the Sectional Committees; the General Council elects and approves the Party Leader and Deputy Leader, approves the electoral programme, approves the Secretary-General's report on the state of the Party and amends the Party Statute. The Executive Council is made up of the Party's highest officials, representatives of the General Council, Parliamentary Groups, Sectional Committees and the Party branches and MEPs; the Executive Committee is the political and policy making body of the Party and, amongst other things, elects most of the Party officials, approves candidates, drafts the electoral programme and lays out the broad policy guidelines.
The Administrative Council is made up of Party deals with Party organisation. The Party is organised geographically in Sectional Committees which are organised in District Fora with special provisions applying for Party organisation in Gozo; the Parliamentary Group and the College of Local Councillors bring together the Party's elected representatives in parliament and local councils. The Party's branches include women's, seniors', workers' and entrapreneurs' sections. Although not directly part of the Party's structure, the Party owns the television station NET Television, radio service Radio 101, the In-Nazzjon and Il-Mument newspapers through its holding company Media.link Communications. The Nationalist Party's roots lie in the important language question of the late 19th century, when the British colonial government tried to give the English language the importance Italian had held in schools and law courts. Fortunato Mizzi, a lawyer at the time opposed these reforms, in 1880, he set up the "Partito Anti-Riformista".
He and his followers wanted a better constitution for the island, as the one imposed at the time had been granted by governor Richard More O'Ferrall in 1849, gave the Maltese little power. This was because the governor was to appoint more members to the council of government than there were to be elected by the voters. Against the Anti-Reform Party stood the Reform Party, founded by Sigismondo Savona in 1879; the Reform Party was in favour of the language reforms being imposed. In 1886, Fortunato Mizzi, together with Gerald Strickland, went to London to demand a new constitution for the islands, which would give them representative government; this constitution was granted in 1887, added more elected members to the council of government that official members. During the next few years, the party was divided between anti-abstentionists; the abstentionists would resign their post in the Council of Government upon election as a protest against the token representation of the electorate on the Council.
This practice of abstentionism led to the 1887 constitution being withdrawn, in 1903, a new one was given instead, similar to that of 1887. Following the First World War a broader and more moderate coalition, the Maltese Political Union, was formed but a more radical and pro-Italian group, the Democratic Nationalist Party, split from the main party; the two groups contest
Kerċem is a village on the island of Gozo, with a population of 1,938 people as of March 2014. The village of Kerċem lies close by to the south-west of Victoria, spread between the picturesque Lunzjata Valley, the green hills of Tal-Mixta, Għar Ilma and Ta' Dbieġi, stretching up to the Pond of Għadira ta' San Rafflu and Xlendi cliffs. Archaeological discoveries show that the sizeable area of Kerċem was inhabited as early as the Għar Dalam phase; the Roman Baths and an early Christian cemetery at Għar Gerduf, referred to by Gozitan historian Giovanni Pietro Francesco Agius de Soldanis as Roman Catacombs, are significant discoveries. However, to date, these historic sites are not accessible to the public. Ta' Kerċem evolved into a village community in the late Middle Ages, around an ancient chapel dedicated to Pope Gregory the Great built around 1581; the site gained historical importance due to the annual traditional St. Gregory procession from the Matrix church in Rabat to this medieval chapel, upon the saint's feast, namely on 12 March.
The chapel was, replaced by the present parish church in 1851, which in turn was enlarged on to its present state between 1906 and 1910. Ta' Kercem became a distinct parish on 10 March 1885 by Bishop Pietru Pace; the Ta' Kercem parish church is the only Gozitan church, jointly dedicated to two saints. As referred earlier, it was traditionally dedicated to Pope Gregory, since 17 August 1885, the church was additionally co-dedicated to Our Lady of Perpetual Help; the village of Ta' Kerċem has a population of around 1700 people. Cultural activities include the annual Għadira Fair, a popular traditional family fair in the countryside area of San Rafflu; the hamlet of Santa Luċija, although in itself incorporated within Ta' Kerċem, is quite distinct with its rustic church square. Santa Luċija is inhabited by country folk with a few old houses built around an old chapel dedicated to St. Lucy. In 2018, the former police station in the locality was put for sale. Fuq il-Blat Għajn Abdul Għar Ilma Iċ-Ċnus Ix-Xagħri Klula Lekx Sarraflu Ta' Berrini Ta' Ċajplu Ta' Ġanton Ta' Katas Ta' Majru Ta' Summina Ta' Xkura Tal-Warda Wardija Wied il-Ġifna Wied tal-Grixti Awarded "EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence" non traditional tourist destination 2008 Images from the picturesque hamlet of Santa Lucija
Malta known as the Republic of Malta, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies 80 km south of Italy, 284 km east of Tunisia, 333 km north of Libya. With a population of about 475,000 over an area of 316 km2, Malta is the world's tenth smallest and fifth most densely populated country, its capital is Valletta, the smallest national capital in the European Union by area at 0.8 km.2 The official languages are Maltese and English, with Maltese recognised as the national language and the only Semitic language in the European Union. Malta has been inhabited since 5900 BC, its location in the centre of the Mediterranean has given it great strategic importance as a naval base, with a succession of powers having contested and ruled the islands, including the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, Greeks, Normans, Knights of St. John and British. Most of these foreign influences have left some sort of mark on the country's ancient culture. Malta became a British colony in 1815, serving as a way station for ships and the headquarters for the British Mediterranean Fleet.
It played an important role in the Allied war effort during the Second World War, was subsequently awarded the George Cross for its bravery in the face of an Axis siege, the George Cross appears on Malta's national flag. The British Parliament passed the Malta Independence Act in 1964, giving Malta independence from the United Kingdom as the State of Malta, with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and queen; the country became a republic in 1974. It has been a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations since independence, joined the European Union in 2004. Malta has a long Christian legacy and its Archdiocese is claimed to be an apostolic see because Paul the Apostle was shipwrecked on "Melita", according to Acts of the Apostles, now taken to be Malta. While Catholicism is the official religion in Malta, Article 40 of the Constitution states that "all persons in Malta shall have full freedom of conscience and enjoy the free exercise of their respective mode of religious worship."Malta is a popular tourist destination with its warm climate, numerous recreational areas, architectural and historical monuments, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni and seven megalithic temples which are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
The origin of the name Malta is uncertain, the modern-day variation is derived from the Maltese language. The most common etymology is that the word Malta is derived from the Greek word μέλι, meli, "honey"; the ancient Greeks called the island Μελίτη meaning "honey-sweet" for Malta's unique production of honey. The Romans called the island Melita, which can be considered either a latinisation of the Greek Μελίτη or the adaptation of the Doric Greek pronunciation of the same word Μελίτα; this spelling is found in the New Testament. Another conjecture suggests that the word Malta comes from the Phoenician word Maleth, "a haven", or'port' in reference to Malta's many bays and coves. Few other etymological mentions appear in classical literature, with the term Malta appearing in its present form in the Antonine Itinerary. Malta has been inhabited from around 5900 BC, since the arrival of settlers from the island of Sicily. A significant prehistoric Neolithic culture marked by Megalithic structures, which date back to c. 3600 BC, existed on the islands, as evidenced by the temples of Mnajdra and others.
The Phoenicians colonised Malta between 800 -- 700 BC, bringing their Semitic culture. They used the islands as an outpost from which they expanded sea explorations and trade in the Mediterranean until their successors, the Carthaginians, were ousted by the Romans in 216 BC with the help of the Maltese inhabitants, under whom Malta became a municipium. After a period of Byzantine rule and a probable sack by the Vandals, the islands were invaded by the Aghlabids in AD 870; the fate of the population after the Arab invasion is unclear but it seems the islands may have been depopulated and were to have been repopulated in the beginning of the second millennium by settlers from Arab-ruled Sicily who spoke Siculo-Arabic. The Muslim rule was ended by the Normans who conquered the island in 1091; the islands were re-Christianised by 1249. The islands were part of the Kingdom of Sicily until 1530, were controlled by the Capetian House of Anjou. In 1530 Charles I of Spain gave the Maltese islands to the Order of Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in perpetual lease.
The French under Napoleon took hold of the Maltese islands in 1798, although with the aid of the British the Maltese were able to oust French control two years later. The inhabitants subsequently asked Britain to assume sovereignty over the islands under the conditions laid out in a Declaration of Rights, stating that "his Majesty has no right to cede these Islands to any power...if he chooses to withdraw his protection, abandon his sovereignty, the right of electing another sovereign, or of the governing of these Islands, belongs to us, the inhabitants and aborigines alone, without control." As part of the Treaty of Paris in 1814, Malta became a British colony rejecting an attempted integration with the United Kingdom in 1956. Malta became independent on 21 September 1964. Under its 1964 constitution
Dingli is a village in the Northern Region of Malta, with a population of 3,608 as of March 2014. It is two kilometers from the nearest town, Rabat; the village lies on a plateau some 250 metres above sea level, one of the highest points of Malta. The area provides not only open sea views over the tiny, uninhabited isle of Filfla, but is a good vantage point over Malta. From the cliffs there are views of the nearby Buskett Gardens and Verdala Palace; the name Dingli is believed to be derived from the name of Sir Thomas Dingley, an English knight of the Order of St. John, who owned much of the lands in the surrounding area. Rock-cut tombs dating back to Phoenician and Roman times have been found in the limits of Dingli. Roman baths and other remains were found at Għajn Handful and the area of Ta' Baldu; until the early 16th century, a small village known as Ħal Tartarni existed, somewhere between Buskett and the present location of Dingli. The village was one of the ten original parishes of Malta by 1436, having a church dedicated to Saint Domenica.
The original church no longer exists, but a nearby chapel built in 1669 with the same dedication is still standing. The noble family Inguanez had a lot of land in the area, employed the population of Ħal Tartarni to work the fields. Over time, the people moved closer towards the fields; the new village grew to what is now Dingli. The site of Ħal Tartarni now consists of open fields; the parish of Dingli was established in 1678 and is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven. The church is situated in the centre of the village on a prominent position, overlooking all the surrounding area; the church which one finds today, was built in the form of a Latin cross in the beginning of the 20th century. The church was modified in the middle of the same century, with the building of a new façade and extensions to the width of the main aisle. A more recent development, was the building of the dome during the 60s and 70s, which completed the construction work of the church; the same church was given the title of Arch parish church by a decree of the Archbishop of Malta on 22 August 2015, the eve of the titular feast of Dingli.
The feast of the Assumption in Dingli is celebrated on the first Sunday after the 15th August. The titular statue of Our Lady in the parish is the fifth one in the island, made by Anton Busuttil in 1861; the statue is carved in wood and is used in a procession on the day of the feast each year carried by 8 statue bearers from the parish. The statue was restored twice: in 1934 and 1977. Throughout the rule of the Order of Saint John, Dingli was considered to be safe from corsair attacks because it was impossible for pirates to land in the area due to the Dingli Cliffs; the village began to see more development after the mid-20th century where the population doubled from 2,000 into the 21st century. Telephone service was introduced in private homes, public transport began to reach the village itself instead of stopping at Rabat, although as of March 2017 no night buses go into Dingli, inhabitants must stop at Rabat; until the early 20th century, it was difficult to send children to school, since boys used to work in the fields while girls helped in the domestic work.
This changed over time, today everyone goes to school, on both primary and secondary levels. Some continue their studies on post-secondary and tertiary levels, from where they can attain a doctorate in their field of study. Dingli was the birthplace of several eminent personalities, including: Dun Xand Cortis, folklore pioneer and author Francis Ebejer and author Walter Ebejer, Dominican friar, ordained Bishop of a diocese in Brazil Ġużè Abela and Minister of Finance Triq Ġużè Ellul Mercer Triq il-Buskett Triq il-Kbira Triq ir-Rabat Triq San Rokku Triq il-Parroċċa Notes Dingli Local Council Dingli Youth Local Council The official website of the Parish of Dingli