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Il Gzira

Trip Planner Europe  /  Malta  /  Island of Malta  /  Il Gzira
Gżira is a town in the Central Region of Malta. It is located between Msida and Sliema, also bordering on Ta' Xbiex. Its has a population of 8,029 as of March 2014. The word Gżira means "island" in Maltese, and the town is named after Manoel Island which lies just adjacent to the town. The seafront of Gżira is famed for its views of the walled city of Valletta, which are illuminated at night, forming a picturesque backdrop to Manoel Island, the yacht marina and a seafront public garden. Kappara is located close to Gzira.Manoel IslandManoel Island in Gżira's Marsamxett Harbour, was originally known as l'Isola del Vescovo or il-Gżira tal-Isqof in Maltese . In 1643 Jean Paul Lascaris, Grandmaster of the Knights of Malta, constructed a quarantine hospital on the island, in an attempt to control the periodic influx of plague and cholera on board visiting ships.The island was renamed after António Manoel de Vilhena, a Portuguese Grandmaster of the Knights of Malta under whose leadership Fort Manoel was built in 1726. Fort Manoel is considered a marvel of 18th century military engineering. The original plans for the Fort are attributed to Louis d'Augbigne Tigné, and are said to have been modified by his friend and colleague Charles F. de Mondion, who is buried in a crypt beneath Fort Manoel. At one time, the Knights of Malta considered developing a walled city on Manoel Island, but instead they settled on a fort designed to house up to 500 soldiers. The Fort has a magnificent quadrangle, parade ground and arcade, and once housed a baroque chapel dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, under the direct command of the Order.
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