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In case of an attack the inhabitants of Rabat could safely withdraw to the well protected Mdina. There was of course a chance that in such a case the houses were looted.
It was forbidden for the Romans to bury the dead within the city , for that reason 2000 square metres arose in underground catacombs in Rabat. In the end housing was built on the catacombs.
Apostle St. Paul arrived in Malta after he was shipwrecked and stayed in a cave in Rabat near the catacombs.
Since the arrival of the Order of St. John Rabat has been important for the schools of the convent and the surrounding fertile agricultural land.
During the second part of the British period Rabat developed, by building the first primary school and the first medical centre, by the upgrading of water recources, street lighting and connection to train traffic.
After the war in 1946 a bomber took off for a practice flight from the former Maltese airport. During this flight the plane crashed in St. Publius Street, near the church. Four crew members and 16 civilians died. As well many houses were uninhabitable. In the street there still hangs a plaque commemorating this tragedy.
After the Second World War Rabat developed quickly and considerable new construction took place and a clear difference arose between ‘old ‘ Rabat and the new quarters. The population increased to around 12.000 inhabitants in the seventies.
Rabat is now notably a residenrtial- and agricultural area, at which also tourism has an important role. The population number has not changed.
Additional Online information
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According to the legend Apostle St. Paul lived in Malta for 3 months in a cave under the church St. Paul. The first church dated from 1373 and the present one from 1575. The church has interesting artworks, among which is a silver ship under the ceiling, made for the occasion of the arrival of Apostle St. Paul.
Baħrija rural church is run by the council of Rabat. The church is dedicated to Saint Martin. Founded by Count Navarra in the 16th century. Given the population growth the church has been considerably enlarged. Read more about this in our app.
St. Anthony the Abt Church. The church is taken care of by the Augustinian Friars of Rabat. The church was built by Grandmaster Cottoner in 1663. Read more about this in our app.
Furthermore there are several churches like the Parish church St. Paul’s, Church of the Holy Virgin, Our Sweet Lady of Jesus Church, Augustine Church, Church of Saint Dominicus, St. Francis Church, St. Sebastian Church, The Loggia on Saqqajja Hill. Most churches have their own page in our app.
Known sights are:
St. Paul’s Grotto, St. Paul’s Catacombs, St. Agatha’s Catacombs, Crypt of St. Agatha, National Archives, Ta’Saura Hospital, Dominican Priory, Augustine Priory, L’ Isle Adam Band Club, Count Roger Band Club, Chadwick Lakes. St. Paul’s Niche on Saqqajja, Dwejra Lines, Wignacourt Museum, iz- Zuntier.
Most sights are described separately and in detail in this website.
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Attractions in Malta