Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua

East across the Grand Harbor from Valletta, the three cities of Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua are where the Knights of the Order of St. John first settled—and where crucial fighting took place in the Great Siege of the Turks in 1565. Vittoriosa, also called Birgu, is named for the victory over the Turks. The 5 km (3 miles) of great walls around the cities are the Cottonera Lines, built in the 1670s.

In Vittoriosa/Birgu in early October, hundreds of actors stage a Grand Master's crossing of the harbor, and monastery doors on Triq San Lawrenz open to the public for the Birgu Festa. On the narrow streets north of the main square you can loop from the Triq La Vallette to the Triq Majjistral on the right. Triq It-Tramuntana takes you past baroque doorways, the Knights' Auberge d'Angleterre (Inn of England), and a Saracen-style house that is thought to date from the 1200s.

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