St Lawrence from Dockyard Creek

"He walked down through the sloping town square to the slumbering quayside and along the water's edge until he came to the steps, flight on flight to his left, leading up to the Order's church of St Lawrence"
The Disorderly Knights, Part Two, Chapter Two

 

 

 

 

St Lawrence from Galley Creek

This is the Birgu peninsular as seen from Dockyard Creek in the evening. Malta looks great in the evening, as the sinking sun brings out the yellow of the stone. Birgu was renamed to Vittoriosa (Victory) after the Ottomans were defeated in the Great Siege of 1565 - however, the name Vittoriosa doesn't quite seem to have stuck, and so the area is also referred to verbally and on signposts as Birgu.

The above picture shows St Lawrence's Church (to the left, with the scaffolding on one of its towers) which, unfortunately, was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt after 'our' period. This Church has some very dodgy opening times, so check before you visit - we didn't manage to get into it.

Fort St Angelo and Birgu were almost completely destroyed in the Great Siege, so little is left of the Birgu that Lymond would have known. However, the location of the Fort is still the same, and the location of St Lawrence. Nick Upton is buried within the church, and the Church has a plaque on the outside of the North wall >

"Sir Nicholas Upton Turcopilier and Governor of this city fell in action during the attempted capture of Malta by Dragut in 1551 and was buried in St Lawrence's Church"

Nick Upton's Memorial.  Click for more information

These precincts were formerly a burial ground in which were laid  the bodies of those who were killed during the incursion of Sinan Pasha in 1551 and some of those who fell in the Great Siege of 1565

<— Plaque on the wall opposite the North wall of St Lawrence's Church:
"These precincts were formerly a burial ground in which were laid the bodies of those who were killed during the incursion of Sinan Pasha in 1551 and of some of those who fell in the Great Siege of 1565"

In front of the church (in the huge flower bed with the palm trees in it) is the 'Freedom Monument' which celebrates the departure of the British Navy in 1979. Until this time, Fort St Angelo, Birgu and Dockyard Creek were the home of the British Meditteranean fleet.

During World War 2, this area was the most heavily bombed part of Malta: the Italian and German forces dropped more bombs on Malta in WW2 than on London. Many of the buildings were completely destroyed.

Updated 08 Jul 2001.
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