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Ħaż-Żabbar (Żabbar)

Ħaż-Żabbar (also known as Città Hompesch) is the sixth largest town in Malta, with a population of 15,314 in March 2013. It is located in the south-east of the country. Originally a part of Żejtun, Ħaż-Żabbar was granted the title of Città Hompesch by the last of the Grandmasters of the Knights of St. John to reign in Malta, Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim.

Ħaż-Żabbar is bound to the north by Kalkara and Xgħajra, to the west by Fgura and Cottonera fortifications (enclosing the localities of Vittoriosa and Cospicua), to the east by Marsaskala and to the south by Żejtun. Ħaż-Żabbar has the largest population of all localities within the area. The western part of this town, composed essentially of Il-Biccieni and Tal-Bajjada (also known as Il-Misrah) areas, is characterized by high dwelling density and comprises a series of winding streets that define the village core. The eastern half is mostly suburban with more recent developments mostly in the form of terraced housing and modern maisonettes and apartments. Ħaż-Żabbar has two other distinct residential neighbourhoods namely Bulebel iz-Zghir, which is characterized by Government housing estates/ multi-storey apartment blocks and rows of terraced house units that were constructed out of various Home Ownership Schemes (HOS), and the area referred to as St.Peter’s.

The town was used as an encampment by the Ottoman armies at the outset of the Great Siege of 1565. Ħaż-Żabbar was granted city status by the last Grand Master on Malta, Ferdinand von Hompesch, in whose name the population built a triumphal arch on the main approach road from Paola through Fgura.

During the Maltese uprising against the French between 1798 and 1800 the city was used as a base by the Maltese insurgents. A memorable battle took place in front of the Ħaż-Żabbar Sanctuary. To this day, French-era cannonballs are to be seen in household walls in the city's older parts and some are also in the church museum after being retrieved from the old church dome. (Wiki)








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