What to do in Cospicua

July 2, 2019

by Michelle Marie Cassar

Cospicua, also known as Bormla, one of the famous Three Cities of Malta, is home to a number of monuments and churches full of Religious art in all shapes and forms enclosed within two sets of fortification walls. It has a rich history dating back centuries that shaped the city that it is today.

Monuments in Cospicua

There are a number of monuments commemorating different milestones in the city’s history. The most notable is the one remembering the fallen of World War II in which Cospicua had an important role due to the Dockyard that was built in the city.

World War II monument Cospicua – Credits: Matthew Tonna Gilford

Another monument worth seeing just a few steps away is the golden statue of Our Lady, a token of devotion from the locals to their beloved patron saint.

Churches in Cospicua

Religion and Cospicua have been closely connected for centuries. This can be seen in the number of churches filled with religious art, from paintings to statues, to the architecture of the churches themselves. Most notably is the parish church in the heart of the city dedicated to Immaculate Conception. It is a must-see for every visitor to the city, especially to art lovers as it houses a lot of beautiful and antique paintings and statues from famous local artists.

Cospicua Parish Church Credits: Matthew Tonna Gilford

Other churches include Saint Paul’s Chapel, Saint Theresa Church and Saint Margaret Church. All three churches are filled with antiques and sacred art that are worth a visit.

The locals, known as Bormlizi, are big devotees of Our lady and this can be seen during the parish feast celebrated on the 8th of December, the best time to visit the city. The city and the church are dressed up for the occasion and a week full of activities, reaching the highest point on the 8th in the evening with a procession including the beloved statue of Our Lady.

Statue of the Immaculate Conception – Credits Matthew Tonna Gilford

Another eventful week in Cospicua is the Holy Week where the Bormlizi along with the church put up displays of statues of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. On Good Friday, one can watch the narrated procession that includes statues of Jesus’ last hours and people dressed as Biblical characters. On Sunday morning, there is a procession with the statue of the Risen Lord including the traditional run, where people from all over Malta come to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. It is the perfect time to visit Cospicua if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Must-do’s in Cospicua

It is not a big city but it is quiet and peaceful. There are a number of boutique hotels and bed-and-breakfasts where one can stay. Valletta, the capital of Malta, is only a boat ride away and one can be there in about 15 minutes. For a history or an art buff, there are a number of locations to see including the parish church and the fortification walls. The Dock no. 1, formerly used by the dockyard, is now an open space for all to enjoy a nice stroll or to just sit there and watch the Bormlizi going about their lives.

Cospicua Dock 1 – Credits: Matthew Tonna Gilford

Opposite to the dock, one can find a number of restaurants and shops. A cold beverage in summer or a coffee in winter and the backdrop from Dock One leading out to the Grand Harbour are perfect for relaxing after a morning of exploration. If those restaurants are full, one can always go to the neighbouring cities of Vittoriosa or Senglea, just a few minutes walk away. There one can find even more restaurants to meet everybody’s needs.

One day in Cospicua is enough to visit all the interesting spots, but if you want a more efficient way to see all the Three Cities, one can rent a Rolling Geek or take up a tour on the slow train or the vintage bus.

This old city has a lot of history to offer as well as art that pleases the eye. The Bormlizi are quite a character but will do anything to help, especially if you ask nicely. It is the perfect spot for a relaxing and cultural holiday especially during the Holy Week or the Parish Feast.

Michelle Marie Cassar

By Michelle Marie Cassar

Michelle Cassar is a Malta based Pharmacist by profession but a writer and traveler by passion. She writes about anything that seems interesting especially traveling, medical blog posts as well as promotional content for innovative products. She is also dabbling in script writing.

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