The dry docks were built by the British to meet the demands of shipping traffic caused by the building of the Suez Canal in 1869. The Somerset dock was built in 1871 and the Hamilton dock was built in 1892.
Senglea got its name from the Grand Master who fortified it Claude de La Sengle. Beforehand Senglea was known as L-Isla coming from an Italian word, isola, which means an island. Its main street running along its centre is Victory Street or Triq Il Vitorja to give it its maltese name. Along this road is every type of social club imaginable - no wonder the maltese are renowned for being so friendly!
During world war 2 the vedette was dismantled stone by stone, and numbered, to re install afterwards - so fortunately this historic landmark remains today.
OK seeing as this a famous landmark for Malta I think it deserves a close up view - here the detail of the ear can be seen ...and look who's that messing about inside? ;-)
A final view of the harbour of Senglea - this is how it looks from the fort Angelo on the tip of Vittoriosa - our next port of call on the Three Cities tour.
Take time first for a stroll along the promenade and enjoy a drink in one of the many bars found along here.
The harbourside of Senglea is a pleasant area with is waterside houses and bars. Plus there ia a lovely view across to the old maritime city of Vittotiosa. This pic shows the harbour area of Senglea and right down a the far end of the pic the view is of Valletta so you can see how Senglea has far reaching views there too.
The Safe Haven Gardens are at the tip of the peninsula of Senglea - the northern end of Victory Street. Wonderful views here of the Grand Harbour and across to Vittoriosa with its Fort Angelo.
Here the peninsula tip is viewed from the water during a harbour cruise - the trees in the garden can just be seen.
The church with the red dome at the other end of Victory Street is St Philip Neri VChurch built in 1622.
Just past this on the end of the penisula is a small garden with the Maltese landmake "Eye and Ear Vedette".
This is the main church in Senglea - its huge so you can't miss it, besides which its found in the main square of Senglea where you get off the bus. This present church was completed in 1957 - originally built 1743 but like much of Senglea was destroyed in the war. In front of the church stands a war memorial. The church attracts pilgrims from all over Malta who come to see the statue of Christ The Redeemer, for its reputed healing powers. The church was rather awkward to get all in a pic so I took one of the detail on its front door .
Senglea was one of the "Three Cities" where the Knights first settled after 1530. Little remains of that city though as it was almost completely destroyed in World War II - just three houses and one church stood. It was then re-built, rather haphazardly, but that just adds to its charm.
The watch tower in the gardens is known as Gardjola On the Gardjola (coming from the Italian guardare - to look at) in stone are carved the coat of arms of Claude de la Sengle plus an eye and an ear - the symbols of Vigilance as the guard on watch had to be all eyes and ears.
The city walls and gates are beautiful, being on the road that leads from Senglea into Cospicua, one of the other "Three Cities". In the picture the road at the left goes up into Senglea, that at the right goes down to the waterfront area. The lovely old street lights add to the charm of the place.
The marina at Senglea is lovely, sharing the waterfront with its opposite neighbour Vittoriosa. The place looks quite Venetian, and yet typically Maltese at the same time, due mainly to the style of boats.
The promenade along Dockside Creek, facing over to Vittoriosa, is probably the most picturesque part of Senglea. It's lined with cafes, restaurants and kiosks of varying quality and price, but all pleasant enough, and there are some quite nice collonaded buildings too. But the main attraction is the marina, and the views across it to Vittoriosa.
From the Safe Haven gardens at the end of Selglea peninsula you get fantastic views across the Grand Harbour to Valletta. While we were there the USS J.F. Kennedy, a huge airctaft carrier, was in as well as this cruise ship (in the pic it's being tended by an oil tanker).
Senglea is quite pretty, especially along its Dockside Creek promenade, but one of the main reasons for visiting is for the views from it to both Valletta and Vittoriosa. This view is across to Fort St Angelo in Vittoriosa.