Julesy’s BnB is located in one of the oldest and most historic areas of Malta, known as The Three Cities, which is central to everything. The property was built in the 18th century and was recently fully restored to its former glory, albeit with all modern conveniencs. The waterfront displaying Malta’s newest €12M marina development (containing several super yachts) is just a short 5-minute walk through the Medieval Quater of Cospicua. Just recently, The Three Cities have undergone a major revitalisation as part of an EU funded initiative.
Malta’s International Airport is just 10 km away, and Malta’s capital city Valletta (a UNESCO world heritage site), is 15-minutes via ferry through the historic Grand Harbour. Rinella Bay is just 1 km from Julesy’s BnB, where you will find the only sandy beach in the Grand Harbour, and SmartCity, Malta’s latest €275M development for international business is less than a 4 km drive. If you fancy a round of golf, then the historic Royal Malta Golf Club is only 5 kms away.
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.
Cospicua has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Its maritime facilities started during ancient times around the Phoenician era c. 600 BC. Prior to the 18th century it was known as Bormla, a name that is still in use. Its fortification walls, constructed to protect the town and its neighbours Birgu and Isla, were built by the Order of Saint John. Construction began in 1638 but was not completed for another 70 years. In 1722, Grand Master Marc’Antonio Zondadari declared Bormla a city and in view of its strong bastions named it Città Cospicua.
In 1776, the Order of St. John started to construct a dockyard, which was to play a vital role in the development of this city. During British rule in Malta, the Royal Navy made extensive use of the dockyard, particularly during the Crimean War, the First World War and during the years preceding the Second World War. Cospicua, along with the rest of the area around the Grand Harbour, was heavily bombed during this last war as Malta was under siege by the Axis powers.
Cospicua is also known as Belt l-Immakulata or the City of the Immaculate, referring to the Immaculate Conception or the Virgin Mary, who is the patron of the city. Every year a feast is held on the 8 of December. Cospicua is also known for its celebration of Good Friday, which began in the 18th century and is a popular tourist attraction. A statue of the Resurrection of Jesus is traditionally carried across the city’s streets to symbolize Jesus’ triumph over death. Smaller statues are also exhibited in the city.
Cospicua’s football team is the St. George’s F.C., thought to be the oldest on the island. Documentation shows that by 1885 there were already three football teams at Cospicua, which merged to form the current club in 1890. Cospicua is also famous for its Regatta team, which was one of the first. This team has won 17 shields (titles) overall, second only to Senglea.
Cospicua has a number of tourist attractions mainly due to its history. The city’s fortifications, namely the Santa Margherita Lines and the Cottonera Lines, are largely intact. Saint Helen’s Gate, also known as Vilhena Gate, is a gateway, which forms part of the Santa Margherita Lines, which is a tourist attraction itself. The Dock area also has some Georgian architecture.
The Three Cities offer an intriguing insight into Malta and its history. Left largely unvisited, these cities are a slice of authentic life as well as a glimpse into Malta’s maritime fortunes.
The Three Cities can rightly claim to be the cradle of Maltese history, as Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea have provided a home and fortress to almost every people who settled on the Islands.
Their harbour inlets have been in use since Phoenician times: the docks always providing a living for local people, but also leaving them vulnerable when Malta’s rulers were at war. As the first home to the Knights of St. John, the Three Cities’ palaces, churches, forts and bastions are far older than Valletta’s.
(Malta Tourism Authority – Licence No. HF9975)