Birkirkara

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Birkirkara
B'Kara, Birkirkara
San Ġwann tal-Għorgħar
Local council
St. Helen's Basilica – Parish Church
Flag of Birkirkara
Flag
Coat of arms of Birkirkara
Coat of arms
Motto: In hoc signo vinces
Birkirkara in Malta.svg
Coordinates: 35°53′48″N 14°27′45″E / 35.89667°N 14.46250°E / 35.89667; 14.46250Coordinates: 35°53′48″N 14°27′45″E / 35.89667°N 14.46250°E / 35.89667; 14.46250
Country Malta
Region Central Region
District Northern Harbour District
Borders Balzan, Iklin, Lija, Msida, Qormi, San Ġwann, Santa Venera
Government
 • Mayor Joanne Debono Grech (PL)
Area
 • Total 2.7 km2 (1.0 sq mi)
Elevation 40 m (130 ft)
Population (March 2014)
 • Total 22,247
 • 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)
Postal code BKR
Dialing code 356
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: 18 August (or first Sunday after date); Sunday after 15 August; 1 May; First Sunday of July; First Sunday of June
Website Official website

Birkirkara (abbreviated B'Kara) is a town in the central region of Malta. It is the most populous on the island, with 22,247 inhabitants as of March 2014.[1] The city consists of four autonomous parishes: Saint Helen, Saint Joseph, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Mary. The city's motto is In hoc signo vinces, and its coat of arms is a plain red cross, surmounted by a crown.

Etymology[edit]

Birkirkara means "cold water" or "running water".[2] This is attributed to the valley in the town. Originally, the name was written as Birchircara, as influenced by the Italian alphabet which excludes the use of the letter 'K'. It is often abbreviated as B'kara/Kara.

Geography[edit]

Birkirkara is situated in a valley, which is from where its name is derived. It is known for flooding on heavy stormy days.[3] Several projects have been proposed.[4] The area has also received embellishment works from time to time.[5]

Description[edit]

The Birchircara Old Railway Station

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.

Wejter Valley in Birkirkara[6]

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 am. 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.

As a busy town, Birkirkara has a high incidence of car accidents, topping the list for the third quarter of 2016.[7]

Climate[edit]

In Birkirkara, the temperature varies from 10.3 to 30.7 °C (50.5 to 87.3 °F) during a year.[8]

Birkirkara[8]
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
225
 
 
15
10
 
 
150
 
 
15
10
 
 
100
 
 
17
12
 
 
80
 
 
19
13
 
 
50
 
 
23
16
 
 
0
 
 
27
20
 
 
0
 
 
29
22
 
 
15
 
 
31
24
 
 
80
 
 
28
22
 
 
200
 
 
25
19
 
 
170
 
 
20
15
 
 
200
 
 
17
12
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Birkirkara Local Council[edit]

Tal-Wejter Tower, former defence on the valley

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[edit]

Niche of All Souls[9] close to St. Mary Church (Old Church) is a Maltese cultural heritage niche
  • 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[edit]

Mrieħel

Sport[edit]

Birkirkara has a multi-sport club in Birkirkara Saint Joseph Sports Club, commonly referred to simply as Birkirkara St. Joseph, mostly known for its Athletics section,[10] however, it also has active sections responsible for cycling,[11] triathlon,[12] swimming,[13] and (amateur) football,[14] which competes in the Maltese Inter-Amateur Soccer Competition.[15]

The latter is, however, definitely surpassed by Birkirkara F.C., led by Adrian Delia,[16] who have won the Maltese Premier League four times.[17] 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.[18][19][20][21][22] Birkirkara also eliminated Heart of Midlothian in the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League.[23][24][25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Estimated Population by Locality 31st March, 2014". Government of Malta. 16 May 2014. Archived from the original on 21 June 2015. 
  2. ^ 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. 
  3. ^ "Birkirkara, Malta - Information and interests". Malta.com. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  4. ^ Malta Independent (2005-06-25). "Possible Solution for Birkirkara flooding problems in the pipeline - The Malta Independent". Independent.com.mt. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  5. ^ "Planning Authority". www.pa.org.mt. 2016-10-02. Archived from the original on 2016-10-02. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  6. ^ Reports on the Working of Government Departments 1975. Department of Information. Executive Departments. 1975.
  7. ^ Allied Newspapers Ltd (2016-10-20). "And the accident capital of Malta is... Birkirkara". Timesofmalta.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  8. ^ a b "Birkirkara climate and weather". world 66. world66.com. 10 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-27. 
  10. ^ "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Athletics". Bkarastjoseph.com. 2017-06-20. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  11. ^ "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Cycling". Bkarastjoseph.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  12. ^ "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Triathlon". Bkarastjoseph.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  13. ^ "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Swimming". Bkarastjoseph.com. 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  14. ^ "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Home". Bkarastjoseph.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  15. ^ "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Football". Bkarastjoseph.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  16. ^ "Administration". Birkirkara FC. 2017-05-23. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  17. ^ "The Club History". Birkirkara FC. 1996-12-06. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  18. ^ Hafez, Shamoon (2015-07-23). "Birkirkara 1-0 West Ham (3-5 on pens) - BBC Sport". Bbc.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  19. ^ "Brave Birkirkara eliminated as West Ham win penalty shoot-out". MaltaToday.com.mt. 2015-07-23. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  20. ^ Augustus, Luke. "Birkirkara 1-0 West Ham United AET (1-1 agg, 3-5 pens): Europa League dream still alive (just) as James Tomkins sees red and stuttering 10 men need penalties to avoid embarrassing defeat | Daily Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  21. ^ Allied Newspapers Ltd (2015-07-23). "Update 3 - Agony for Birkirkara as West Ham beat them in penalty shoot-out". Timesofmalta.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  22. ^ Last Updated: 24/07/15 11:05am (2015-07-23). "Birkirkara 1 - 0 West Ham - Match Report & Highlights". Skysports.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  23. ^ "Updated - Watch Birkirkara's two goals against Hearts as Stripes make European history - The Malta Independent". Independent.com.mt. 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  24. ^ Wilson, Richard (2016-07-21). "Heart of Midlothian 1-2 Birkirkara (1-2) - BBC Sport". Bbc.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  25. ^ Gordon Parks (2016-07-21). "Hearts 1 Birkirkara 2: Three things we learned as Maltese minnows send Jambos crashing out". Daily Record. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  26. ^ "Europa League - Hearts shocked by Birkirkara Hibernian lose on penalties". Espn Fc. 2016-07-21. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 

External links[edit]