Birkirkara is the largest population centre on the Islands and has been so since the Middle Ages. Birkirkara was listed as one of the original 12 medieval parishes in 1436. It continued to flourish until it splintered into separate parishes. Today, the parish church is still known as `Matrici’ which means it is the mother of the other neighbouring parishes. Another interesting church is the old parish church dedicated to The Assumption. Most of present-day Birkirkara is modern, though the town retains a traditional core characterised by alleyways, narrow streets and houses typical of small villages. The larger town houses tend to be used as headquarters for band clubs or political parties. A tiny garden separates the town’s older area from the new quarters. Here you can see one of the old railway stations on the commuter line that ran from Rabat to Valletta. Apart from the churches, the oldest buildings in the town are the windmills. One is a private residence, the other, at the heart of the town, is an art gallery. Known locally as `Ta’ Ganu’ it hosts exhibitions by local and foreign artists.