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Isla, or Senglea, is a fortified city in the east of Malta in the Grand Harbour area which forms part of the Three Cities. The city of Senglea is also called Citta Invicta, because it managed to resist the Ottoman invasion during the Great Siege of 1565. Senglea derived its name from the Grandmaster who built it, Claude De La Sengle.
With a population of 3,074 people and an area of just over half a square mile, Senglea is Malta’s smallest locality and the most densely populated. In the beginning of the 20th century Senglea had more than 8200 people, however the Second World War rapidly changed its social structure as many locals had left to take refuge in outlying towns and countryside.
Isla is famous for the miraculous statue of Jesus Christ The Redeemer known by the Maltese as ir-Redentur ta` l-Isla, which can be found in the oratory of the basilica which is dedicated to the Birth of the Virgin Mary. The feast of Marija Bambina is celebrated on the 8th of September. Senglea has also a statue dedicated to Virgin Mary, which is often referred to as Il-Madonna Tan-Nofs (Our Lady of the Centre). This stature was originally erected in the city center during the time of the plague, as a symbol of gratitude for being the only town not contaminated. Many people also visit Senglea for the religious processions of Christ the Redeemer, Our Lady of Sorrows, the Good Friday procession and the Easter celebrations.
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