Birgu is a small locality in Malta with a population of almost 3,000 and a surface area of 5 km². The historic core consist of a time honoured and walled maritime city planted on the cenral promontory along the southern flank of the Grand Harbour, opposite the capital city of Valletta.
Over the centuries, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Aroganese, Knights of Saint John and British all contributed to Birgu’s development.
After being driven out of Rhodes by the Ottoman Empire, the Order of Saint John were granted Malta as their new home. The comission of eight knights sent by the Order in 1526 described Birgu as a small defenceless town with old houses in poor condition.
Eventually when the Order set root in 1530, they turned Birgu into their convent since Mdina, the then capital, was too inland and did not suit their naval requirements.