Cospicua (formerly called Bormla) was renamed after its (‘Conspicuous’) role during the Siege. Most of Cospicua was reduced to rubble during World War II, and the rebuilt suburbs are uninspiring.
Saving graces are Cospicua’s fortifications. Building work began on the ring of the bastions known as the Margherita Lines in 1639, but the construction was interrupted by the decision to start the apparently more urgent Cotonera Lines.
These massive fortifications, stretching for 4.5km, protected the cities on the landward side, though, like so many of the knights’ defences, they were never put to the test. The curtain walls are adorned with richly carved triumphal gateways, the finest of which is the Zabbar Gate on the Zabbar to Cospicua road.
The elaborate Church of the Immaculate Conception (built in 1637) was one of the few buildings to survive the bomb attacks.