Birgu is a very old locality on the south side of the Grand Harbour in Malta, with its origins reaching back to medieval times. The town occupies a promontory of land with Fort St Angelo at its head and the city of Cospicua at its base. In recent years, due to an agreement made by the Maltese Government with Sovereign Military Order of Malta, this Catholic Order of Knighthood has returned to the Island. This agreement, which has a duration of 99 years, grants the Knights of Malta the exclusive use of Fort St Angelo in the town of Birgu.
Birgu is ideally situated for safe anchorage, and over time it has developed a very long history with maritime, mercantile and military activities. Prior to the establishment of Valletta as capital and main city of Malta, military powers that wanted to rule the Maltese islands would need to obtain control of Birgu due to its significant position in the Grand Harbour.
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