Towns and Villages. Index

Nativity of Our Lady Parish Church
The Parish Church of Senglea, dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was probably built by architect Vittorio Cassar in 1580. It was built as a monument to the victory acquired by the Order of Saint John, together with the Maltese, over the Turkish Empire during the Great Siege of 1565. Since the said victory occurred on September 8, the day in which Christians celebrate the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it become commonly known as Our Lady of Victories. Senglea became a Parish in 1581 and towards the middle of the 17th century a new Parish Church, on a Latin cross plan, was built. This new Parish building was consecrated by Bishop Alpheran de Bussan on the 20th October 1743. On the 21st May 1786, Pope Pius VI declared the Church to be a Collegiate, while Pope Benedict XV on 3rd January 1921 honoured this Church with the title of Minor Basilica. After the solemn crowning of the statue of the Virgin Mary on the 4th September of the same year, by Archbishop Maurus Caruana O.S.B., the Parish Church of Senglea became a Marian Sanctuary. Unfortunately, this church was destroyed by enemy action during the Second World War, mainly in the years 1941 and 1942. It was later rebuilt and consecrated anew by Archbishop Michael Gonzi on the 24th August 1957.

Left: Pre WWII parish church of the Nativity of Our Lady Bombed WWII
Blessed Sacrament
According to A Ferres, in 1866 there was another Oratory adjacent to the Parish Church. This was built in 1720 and was dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and was in the care of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, which was founded around 1581.
Immaculate Conception
A chapel of this dedication existed in a conservatory which was suppressed in 1866 according to A Ferres.

Our Lady of Porto Salvo
The church, dedicated to Our Lady of Porto Salvo (the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Elizabeth), was primarily built in 1596. In 1661, two priests and two deacons, led by Fr Simon Schembri, asked permission to take care of the church in live a community life, in an adjacent house, under the rule established by St Philip Neri for the Oratorians in Rome. In 1670, they demolished the old church and rebuilt it together with a friary next to it. By time, and since it was in the care of the Oratorians of St. Philip, its dedication to Our Lady was forgotten and it became commonly known as the church of St. Philip Neri. Although the Oratorians were those who took great care of both the church and the convent, the main responsibility for the administration of both was in the hands of the Archpriest pro tempore of Senglea. This church was consecrated by Bishop Vincenzo Labini on 22nd April 1781. During a cholera epidemic, in June 1837, the friary adjacent to the church, and the church itself, served as a hospital. Between 1943 and 1957, while the Parish Church was being rebuilt after it was destroyed through enemy action during WWII, this church served as the Senglea Parish Church. By the time, the Oratorians lacked vocations and eventually stopped functioning. For fifty years, between 1958 and 2008, a Jesuit community was set up in the friary and eventually they also took care of the church, offering pastoral assistance to the people living in that area of Senglea. Unfortunately, the Jesuits also lacked vocations and it was impossible for them to sustain this community at Senglea. Today, and since October 20th 2008, a Salesian Community started living in the friary and, whilst taking care of the church, they opened a youth Oratory beneath the church. Marriages may be celebrated in this church.

Two sides of Our Lady of Porto Salvo (St.Philip) church
Purification of Our Lady Gandlora
This Oratory, on the left hand side of the Parish Church, was built before 1636 by the Congregation of Ononati of Senglea, which was founded before 1622. It was built instead of a church dedicated to St.Roque and a cemetery for those who died of the plague. Here they used to celebrate both the seven Marian feasts as well as the Forty Hours Adoration apart from their weekly meetings. This oratory was rebuilt around 1729. Four pictures representing the Immaculate Conception, the Presentation in the Temple, the Annunciation and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin were placed on its side walls. Today, these paintings by Rocco Buhagiar adorn the Vestry of the Parish Church. This Oratory was demolished by enemy action in WWII and was rebuilt in the 1950s.
Holy Crucifix
This Oratory was built in 1731, partly destroyed during WWII and rebuilt in the 1950s. It is in the care of the Confraternity of the Holy Crucifix, which was founded in 1715.
Holy Crucifix Oratory

St. Anne Chapel
This chapel used to form part of an Ospizio for the elderly, known as Ospizio Sant Anna, built in 1794. It was demolished in the 1980s and replaced in 1987 with a modern facility. Since 1898, it was managed by the Franciscan Sisters and today, while the Franciscan Sisters are no longer in charge of the place, it is administered by the Church Commision for the Homes of the elderly.

St. Julian
This is said to be the first building that ever existed on Senglea, even before it was named so. It was built in 1311 and altered in 1539 by Fra Diego Perez de Malfreire, who was architect of the Order of St John. It was rebuilt for the third time in 1710 following the plans laid by Lorenzo Gafa who kept the Malfreire proportion and design in the church facade. This is the building which we can still see today. In 1729, a small bell cot with two bells was removed from the facade, and a four-sided belfry was built instead on the side facing Two Gates Street. Since it was in very dilapidated state, in 1998, this belfry was pulled down and rebuilt in conformity to its original measurements and design. One of the bells here dates back to 1723. Marriages may be celebrated in this church which is today used twelve hours a day for Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
St.John Baptist & St.Michael Archangel
After WWII a new Chapel for the British forces was opened at St.Michael's Bastion abreast of No.3 Dock at Isla. On Thursday 24th June 1948, the Nativity of St. John Baptist, a service of dedication of this new Chapel was held. This Chapel was closed down when the Royal Naval dockyard was terminated when the British forces were reducing their presence on Malta and vacating certain sites in order to occupy fewer bases. The facilities were handed over to a private company C.H. Bailey.