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San Ġwann tal-Għorgħar
|Motto: In hoc signo vinces|
|District||Northern Harbour District|
|Borders||Balzan, Iklin, Lija, Msida, Qormi, San Ġwann, Santa Venera|
|• Mayor||Joanne Debono Grech (PL)|
|• Total||2.7 km2 (1.0 sq mi)|
|Elevation||40 m (130 ft)|
|Population (March 2014)|
|• Density||8,200/km2 (21,000/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Karkariż (m), Karkariża (f), Karkariżi (pl)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||MT-04|
|Patron saints||Helena of Constantinople; Saint Joseph; Our Lady of Mount Carmel; Anthony of Padua|
|Day of festa||Saint Helen: August 18 (or first Sunday after date); Sunday after 15 August; May 1; First Sunday of July; First Sunday of June|
Birkirkara or the abbreviated B'Kara (Maltese: Birkirkara), is a town in the Central Region, Malta. It is the most populous town on the island, with 22,247 inhabitants as of March 2014. The city consists of four autonomous parishes: Saint Helen, Saint Joseph, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Mary. It also houses St Aloysius' College. Birkirkara is the home town of President Emeritus Eddie Fenech Adami, former Prime Minister Alfred Sant, the birthplace of the first President of Malta Anthony Mamo, and Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 winner Destiny Chukunyere.
The city's motto is In hoc signo vinces, and its coat of arms is a plain red cross, surmounted by a crown.
Birkirkara means "cold water", "running water"). This can probably be attributed to its geography. In Early Modern Times, the name was transliterated as Birchircara, in Italian spelling. When necessary, it is abbreviated as B'kara. or B'Kara.
Birkirkara is situated in a valley, which is from where it's name is derived. It is in fact known for flooding on heavy stormy days. Several projects have been proposed. The area has also received embellishment works from time to time.
There are many places of interest in Birkirkara, amongst them the Old Railway Station which is today located within a public garden. Trains were used as means of transportation across the island until the Railway's closure happened in 1931. Other town features include the Wignacourt Aqueduct built in the 17th Century, and St Helen's Basilica, housing Malta's largest church bell. Birkirkara is one of Malta's oldest towns and received mention in the 1436 Ecclesiastical Report mentioning the then existing parishes in Malta and Gozo, from which Birkirkara emerged as the largest parish. Various parishes and suburbs developed out of Birkirkara over the years, including Sliema, St. Julian's, Msida, Ħamrun in the 19th century and Santa Venera in the early 20th century. In more recent years, San Ġwann (1965) and the hamlet of Ta' l-Ibraġ hived off Birkirkara to form part of the new parish and locality of Swieqi in 1993.
Birkirkara's main religious feast is that of St Helen which is celebrated on 18 August if it falls on a Sunday, or on the first Sunday after that date. The main event of the celebration is a procession with a large wooden statue carved by the Maltese master-sculptor Salvu Psaila. Notably, this is the only procession (with a titular statue) on the island carried out in the morning. The procession leaves the basilica at exactly 8:00 a.m. and returns to it at 10:45 a.m. The statue is lifted to shoulder-height by a group of townsmen and is carried through the main streets of the town.
Birkirkara has grown into an important commercial centre as well as a densely populated residential area.
Some prominent buildings in the area are the Tal-Wejter Tower, the Wignacourt Aqueduct, Villa Lauri, Villa Chelsea, Saint Helen Palace, Band Clubs, Political Clubs, the Birkirkara Civic Centre, amongst others.
In Birkirkara one can find a small private hospital, with 30 in-patient beds, called Da Vinci Health, which first opened in the year 2000 as a radio imaging clinic. The hospital offers a number of medical services. In the town there are otherwise other small healthcare facilities such as a number of pharmacies.
In Birkirkara, the temperature varies from 10.3 to 30.7 °C (50.5 to 87.3 °F) during a year.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Birkirkara Local Council
The current Birkirkara local council members are:
- Joanne Debono Grech (Mayor, PL)
- Rita Borg (Vice-Mayor, PL)
- Michael Fenech Adami (PN)
- Kaylocke Buhagiar (PL)
- Liam Gauci (PL)
- Josianne Cardona Gatt (PN)
- Mark Abdilla (PN)
- Anthony Buttigieg (PL)
- John Mary Calleja (PL)
- Herbert Conti (PL)
- John Mizzi (PN)
- Marie Claire Zammit (PN)
- John Borg (PN)
Birkirkara Community Service
- Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Church, Triq Fleur-de-Lys (Fleur-de-Lys Road), Fleur-de-Lys
- Our Lady, Mother of the Church Parish Church, Triq il-Graffiti Navali, Swatar
- St. Joseph the Worker Parish Church, Triq il-Bwieraq (Bwieraq Street)
- St. Helen's Parish Church, Triq is-Santwarju (Sanctuary Street)
- St. Mary's Parish Church, Triq il-Knisja l-Qadima (Old Church Street)
- Our Lady of Victory Parish Church, Triq il-Vitorja (Victory Street)
- Birkirkara Local Council, Triq Tumas Fenech (Thomas Fenech Street)
- Birkirkara District Police Station, Triq il-Kbira (Main Street)
- Birkirkara Malta Labour Party Club, Triq Fleur-de-Lys (Fleur-de-Lys Road)
- Birkirkara Partit Nazzjonalista Club, Triq Fleur-de-Lys (Fleur-de-Lys Road)
- Birkirkara Branch Post Office, Triq il-Wied (Valley Road)
- Birkirkara Sub-Post Offices at: Triq Mannarino (Mannarino Road); Triq Tumas Fenech (Thomas Fenech Street); and Triq L. Casolani (L. Casolani Street)
- Da Vinci Hospital, Triq Kan. K. Pirotta (Can. K. Pirotta Street)
- Birkirkara Health Centre, Triq Tumas Fenech
- Birkirkara Regional Library, Triq Tumas Fenech
Zones in Birkirkara
- Għar il-Ġobon
- Ta' Fuq il-Wied
- Ta' Ganu
- Ta' Paris
Birkirkara has a multi-sport club in Birkirkara Saint Joseph Sports Club, commonly referred to simply as Birkirkara St. Joseph, mostly known for it's Athletics section, however it also has active sections responsible for cycling, triathlon, swimming, and (amateur) football, which competes in the Maltese Inter-Amateur Soccer Competition.
The latter is however definitely outshined by Birkirkara F.C., led by Adrian Delia, who won the Maltese Premier League four times. Birkirkara F.C. have a good record in UEFA Europa League when compared to other Maltese teams, having beaten West Ham United F.C. at a point, only to be eliminated from 2015-16 UEFA Europa League on penalties. Birkirkara also eliminated Heart of Midlothian in the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League.
- "Estimated Population by Locality 31st March, 2014". Government of Malta. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015.
- Abela, Giovanni Francesco (1647). Della Descrizione di Malta Isola nel Mare Siciliano con le sue Antichità, ed Altre Notizie (in Italian). Paolo Bonacota. p. 90.
- Reports on the Working of Government Departments 1975. Department of Information. Executive Departments. 1975.
- "Birkirkara climate and weather". world 66. world66.com. 10 June 2013.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
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