Sliema - City of Malta
Sliema is a town located on the northeast coast of Malta. It is a centre for shopping, restaurants and café life. Sliema is also a major commercial and residential area and houses several of Malta's most modern hotels. Sliema, which means 'peace, comfort', was once a quiet fishing village on the peninsula across Marsamxett Harbour from Valletta, but now Sliema and the coastline up to neighbouring St. Julian's constitutes Malta's main coastal resort.
MALTA National Animal : Kelb tal-Fenek
Sliema got its name from a chapel dedicated to The Virgin Mary under the title of Star of the Sea, which served as a beacon and a reference point to the few fishermen who lived in that area. The name could thus be connected with the first words of the Hail Mary prayer, which in Maltese is "Sliem Ghalik Marija". Sliem is the Maltese word meaning peace.
At the Great Siege of 1565, il-Qortin, as it was then known, was a camp centre for Turkish troops led by Dragut. He met his fate there, having been killed by a bombardment from Fort St. Elmo at the other flank of Marsamxett Harbour, where Sliema stands. Fort Tigne was eventually developed by the Knights of St. John in the late 18th century and further developed by the British in later years.
In 1855 a new church dedicated to Our Lady Star of the Sea was built. Around the new church, the small village grew into a town. By 1878, the population grew to such an extent that the religious authorities had the Stella Maris Church declared a parish in its own right and it was separated from parish of Birkirkara.
The town began to develop rapidly in the second half of the 19th century and later it became popular as a summer resort for wealthier Valletta residents. Their elegant villas and town houses lined the quiet, inland streets. Various Victorian buildings graced its three kilometre sea promenade which overlooked rugged rocks, farms and even a small sandy beach. The farm was eventually abandoned and in 1990, was transformed into a coastline garden known as Gnien Indipendenza.
In 1881 the first sea water distillery on the island was erected in Sliema in order to provide water to the British barracks on the Tigne Seafront. In 1882 the distillery was decommissioned and the building, which still stands today, has been occupied by a printing press since that time. The barracks it supplied water to were demolished in 2001 in order to make way for the development of Tigne Point.
The town has a considerable number of streets named after British governors or places, such as Norfolk Street, Prince of Wales Road , Windsor Terrace, Graham Street, Milner Street and Fort Cambridge.
Sliema has a number of churches such as the one dedicated to Jesus of Nazareth known as "In-Nazzarenu", the Sacre Cuor Sacred Heart, two dedicated to Our Lady: Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Stella Maris and one named in honour of Pope St. Gregory the Great.
MALTA National Bird : Blue Rock Thrush
MALTA National Flower : The Maltese Centaury Paleocyanus Crasifoleus