▪ Maltatown, eastern Malta, one of the Three Cities (the others being Cospicua and Senglea). It is situated on a small peninsula, just south of Valletta across Grand Harbour. One of the most important towns in medieval Malta, in 1530 it became the first residence on the island of the Hospitalers (Hospitallers) (Knights of St. John of Jerusalem). It was strongly fortified and served as the Hospitalers' defense bastion against the Turks in the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. Its name, formerly Birgu, was changed to Vittoriosa to commemorate that victory. It served as the Hospitalers' capital until replaced by Valletta in 1570. The town continued to develop in the 17th century with commercial facilities and shipyards. Although severely damaged in World War II, some of its old fortifications remain, including Fort St. Angelo (870; renovated and extended 1530). The Palace of the Inquisitors and most of the 16th-century auberges (lodges of the Hospitalers) also survive. Pop. (1983 est.) 4,134.
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