Birzebbuga’s colourful history
The first people who landed in Birżebbuġa were the Phoenicians, who travelled by sea, and chose this area because it is the first point to hit when coming from the East, while the bay offered shelter for their ships. During their stay they built a temple, called the temple of Erocle, while many graves belonging to these mariners were excavated around the town.
On a high hill called Kaccaturo, in front of Ghar Dalam, there are remains of a typical Roman Villa, which the Romans built during their times. The harbour played an important role in history, not only it was used by the Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs; but it also featured in the Great Siege of 1965 when the Turks landed there. During the 20th century it became a base for British naval warships and was also used for military flying boats. Nowadays, the harbour plays a huge economical role with the Freeport, handling an impressive number of cargo ships and containers on a daily basis.
The town also has historical buildings that date back centuries, enlightening us about how people on the island lived through different rulings. Such buildings include Farretti Coastal Battery, and the Birżebbuġa entrenchments, dating back to the times of the Knights, as well as other fortifications built by the British in the areas of Benghajsa, Delimara and tas-Silg.