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Fgura

Towns and Villages

Fgura is a relatively newer busy commercial and residential town in the South of Malta. The beautifully contemporary designed church is a change from the Maltese norm and certainly worth a visit if in the area.

Fgura is a recently developed residential area that expanded from a handful of farms over the last fifty years or so. It is a modern, self-sufficient town, with spacious roads, a number of public squares and gardens and all kinds of shops and businesses.

Although many may therefore think that Fgura does not have much of a history, not only does its proximity to Tarxien indicated that the area was inhabited by early settlers since prehistoric times, but the recent development has also uncovered six Punic tombs in Liedna street dating to 400BC, the contents of which gave clear indications as to the type of society living in those times. Lanterns, food and water recipients, plates, glasses and perfume jars were obviously intended as userful accessories for the voyage to the afterlife, while the eleborate designs and materials used show a rather high cultural status of the buried. These beautifully decorated artifacts are now exhibitied at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta.

Although the entire town is relatively modern, you might be interested to seek out one of the oldest streets in Fgura, Triq il-Karmnu (Carmel Street), which was originally a short cut from Bulebel to Zabbar, bypassing Paola. The street is still dotted with some of the original farmhouses amidst newer houses and commercial enterprises.

Like the older villages, Fgura developed its own Band Club of Madonna tal-Karmnu (Lady of Mount Carmel), which offered free lessons to enthusiasts interested in learning a musical instrument, which also caters for street decorating and the preparations of fireworks for the local festa. Fgura also has a Bocci Club (Bowles), a Racing Pigeon Club, a Football Club and a number of other social, religious and political clubs usually so predominant in Maltese village culture.

It is evident that religion has always been very strong in Maltese society, and the very first establishment of a chapel in the area dated as far back as 1790. In 1844 it was enlarged and then consecrated ten years later, but it was only after it had sustained damage during the Second World War bombing that it was embellished again and taken over by the Carmelite Friars. By 1950 they had another larger Church built, which was established as an independent Parish in 1965, while the original small chapel was demolished in 1955 to make way for a wider road to serve the increasing population in the area, which at the time was fashionable as a post-war, peaceful and green environment to live in.

But development happened so fast that soon Fgura became a densly populated and bustling town. In fact, as Fgura expanded in all directions, to touch Bormla, Zabbar, Paola and Tarxien, it was soon necessary for an even bigger Church, which was completed in 1988. This modern Church has a very particular and unique architecture, especially when compared to the older, traditional architecture of most Catholic Churches in Malta.

On the border with Bormla (Cospicua), you can also appreciate the magnificent Cottonera Bastions built by Grandmaster Cotoner around the Three Cities of Bormla, Birgu (Vittoriosa) and Isla (Senglea) dating to the mid-seventeenth century.

Directions

Fgura Local Council, 'Dar il-Kunsill', Fgura

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