On Sunday 16th March, Wirt iz-Zejtun organised its first from a series of events aimed at commemorating the 400th year anniversary since the last Ottoman attack on Malta of the 6th July 1614.
The heritage trail started at the Old Parish Church of St Catherine, commonly known as St Gregory’s Church. This church which was also used by the local militia (Dejma) as their headquarters, was ransacked during this raid. An overview on the architectural importance of this building was also given, highlighting the different architectural styles which one finds in this building.
Those present walked to Our Saviour’s Chapel which used to serve as the vice-parish of Zejtun in the 17th Century, but the chapel at that time was dedicated to the Assumption and was commonly known as Santa Marija ta’ Bisqallin.
The trail continued within the narrow and serpentine streets of Bisqallin, or ir-Rahal t’Isfel, with the participants taken along the periphery of this old hamlet, with buildings still showing evidence of the introvertness in their design and construction.
The audience were also shown an early 17th century building which is said to be Clement Tabone’s residence. The trail ended up in front of the chapel which was built by Tabone precisely on the site where is thought that the Ottomans were defeated in a battle with the locals assisted by the Order’s Cavalry. Those present were entertained by a re-enactment of this battle by the group Show of Arms.