Three Cities

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Not to be confused with Three Cities Productions .
View of the Three Cities from Valletta.
Three Cities of Malta
Cospicua - Vittoriosa - Senglea

The Three Cities is a collective description of the three fortified cities of Cospicua, Vittoriosa, and Senglea on the Island of Malta, which are enclosed by the massive line of fortification created by the Knights of St John, the Cottonera Lines. "Cottonera" is usually taken to include these Three Cities and Kalkara.

Birgu has been settled since the time of the Phoenicians, but the current city dates back from the time of the Order of Saint John. Birgu was chosen as the capital city of Malta instead of Mdina upon the arrival of the Order in 1530. After the 1551 attack, Senglea was built on the peninsula known as L'Isola. In Birgu, Fort Saint Angelo was built on the site of the ancient Castrum Maris, and Fort Saint Michael was built on Senglea.

The cities were besieged during the Great Siege of 1565, and after the siege was lifted Birgu was given the title of Città Vittoriosa and Senglea the title of Città Invicta. In the aftermath of the siege, the city of Valletta was built, and in 1571 the new city became the capital instead of Birgu. The cities' fortifications were strengthened during the reign of Grandmaster Nicolas Cotoner, and in 1722, Grandmaster Marc'Antonio Zondadari gave the town of Bormla the title of Città Cospicua.

During World War II, the Three Cities were heavily bombed by the Italians and Germans, and they were rebuilt in the 1950s and 1960s.

Coordinates: 35°52′37″N 14°31′19″E / 35.87694°N 14.52194°E / 35.87694; 14.52194