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Senglea is a fortified city in the South Eastern Region of Malta. It is one of the Three Cities in the Grand Harbour area, the other two being Cospicua and Vittoriosa, and has a population of 3000. Senglea managed to resist the Ottoman invasion at the Great Siege of Malta in 1565.
With an area of just over half a square mile, Senglea is Malta’s smallest locality. It is also its most densely populated and at the beginning of the 20th Century, it was the centre of Malta’s elite and intelligentsia.
In 1311 St. Julian’s church or chapel was founded and it was the first building to be constructed on what later became Senglea. On 8 May 1552 the foundation stone of Fort St.Michael was laid. Construction of walled town Senglea took place during the following decade.
In 1581 Senglea became a Parish dedicated to the Nativity of Our Lady. In 1798, Senglea was involved in the blockade against French forces. The parish church was bestowed with the title of Basilica by Pope Benedict XV in 1921.
During the Second World War Senglea suffered heavy bombardments which devastated most of the city. King George VI visited the devastated city on 20 June 1943.
The newly built Basilica was consecrated in 1957. Pope John Paul II visited Senglea in May 1990. In 2010 Senglea won a European Destinations of Excellence award for aquatic tourism.