Birkirkara (also known as B'Kara for short) is a town in the central region of Malta. It is the second most populous on the island, with 23,034 inhabitants as of March 2018. The city consists of four autonomous parishes: Saint Helen, Saint Joseph, Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saint Mary. The city's motto is In hoc signo vinces, and its coat of arms is a plain red cross, surmounted by a crown.


B'Kara, Birkirkara
San Ġwann tal-Għorgħar


Coat of arms
Coordinates: 35°53′48″N 14°27′45″E
RegionCentral Region
DistrictNorthern Harbour District
BordersBalzan, Iklin, Lija, Msida, Qormi, San Ġwann, Santa Venera
  MayorJoanne Debono Grech (PL)
  Total2.7 km2 (1.0 sq mi)
40 m (130 ft)
 (January 2019)
Demonym(s)Karkariż (m), Karkariża (f), Karkariżi (pl)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code356
ISO 3166 codeMT-04
Patron saintsHelena of Constantinople; Saint Joseph; Our Lady of Mount Carmel; Anthony of Padua
Day of festaSaint Helen: 18 August (or first Sunday after date); Sunday after 15 August; 1 May; First Sunday of July; First Sunday of June
WebsiteOfficial website


Birkirkara means "cold water" or "running water".[2] This is attributed to the valley in the town. Originally, the name was written as Birchircara, as influenced by Italian spelling which traditionally does not use the letter 'K'. It is often abbreviated as B'kara/Kara.


Birkirkara is situated in a valley, which is from where its name is derived. It is known for flooding on heavy stormy days.[3] Several projects have been proposed.[4] The area has also received embellishment works from time to time.[5]


There are many places of interest in Birkirkara, amongst them the Old Railway Station which is today located within a public garden. Trains were used as means of transportation across the island until the Railway's closure happened in 1931. Other town features include the Wignacourt Aqueduct built in the 17th Century, and St Helen's Basilica, housing Malta's largest church bell. Birkirkara is one of Malta's oldest towns and received mention in the 1436 Ecclesiastical Report mentioning the then existing parishes in Malta and Gozo, from which Birkirkara emerged as the largest parish. Various parishes and suburbs developed out of Birkirkara over the years, including Sliema, St. Julian's, Msida, Ħamrun in the 19th century and Santa Venera in the early 20th century. In more recent years, San Ġwann (1965) and the hamlet of Ta' l-Ibraġ hived off Birkirkara to form part of the new parish and locality of Swieqi in 1993.

Birkirkara's main religious feast is that of St Helen which is celebrated on 18 August if it falls on a Sunday, or on the first Sunday after that date. The main event of the celebration is a procession with a large wooden statue carved by the Maltese master-sculptor Salvu Psaila. Notably, this is the only procession (with a titular statue) on the island carried out in the morning. The procession leaves the basilica at exactly 8:00 a.m. and returns to it at 10:45 am. The statue is lifted to shoulder-height by a group of townsmen and is carried through the main streets of the town.

Birkirkara has grown into an important commercial centre as well as a densely populated residential area.

Some prominent buildings in the area are the Tal-Wejter Tower, the Wignacourt Aqueduct, Villa Lauri, Villa Chelsea, Saint Helen Palace, Band Clubs, Political Clubs, the Birkirkara Civic Centre, Ta' Ganu Windmill, amongst others.

The Birkirkara Law Courts were built in the 19th century and the building has been converted into a house.[7][8]

As a busy town, Birkirkara has a high incidence of car accidents, topping the list for the third quarter of 2016.[9]


Birkirkara features a Csa Mediterranean climate under the Köppen climate classification. Birkirkara features mild, wet winters and dry hot summers. The city's temperature varies from 10.3 to 30.7 °C (50.5 to 87.3 °F) during the course of a year.[10]

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Birkirkara Local Council

The current Birkirkara local council members are:

  • Joanne Debono Grech (Mayor, PL)
  • Rita Borg (Vice-Mayor, PL)
  • Michael Fenech Adami (PN)
  • Kaylocke Buhagiar (PL)
  • Liam Gauci (PL)
  • Josianne Cardona Gatt (PN)
  • Mark Abdilla (PN)
  • Anthony Buttigieg (PL)
  • John Mary Calleja (PL)
  • Herbert Conti (PL)
  • John Mizzi (PN)
  • Marie Claire Zammit (PN)
  • John Borg (PN)
  • Carmen Grech (PN)

Birkirkara Community Service

  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Church, Triq Fleur-de-Lys (Fleur-de-Lys Road), Fleur-de-Lys
  • Our Lady, Mother of the Church Parish Church, Triq il-Graffiti Navali, Swatar
  • St. Joseph the Worker Parish Church, Triq il-Bwieraq (Bwieraq Street)
  • St. Helen's Parish Church, Triq is-Santwarju (Sanctuary Street)
  • St. Mary's Parish Church, Triq il-Knisja l-Qadima (Old Church Street)
  • Our Lady of Victory Parish Church, Triq il-Vitorja (Victory Street)
  • Birkirkara Local Council, Triq Tumas Fenech (Thomas Fenech Street)
  • Birkirkara District Police Station, Triq il-Kbira (Main Street)
  • Birkirkara Malta Labour Party Club, Triq Fleur-de-Lys (Fleur-de-Lys Road)
  • Birkirkara Partit Nazzjonalista Club, Triq Fleur-de-Lys (Fleur-de-Lys Road)
  • Birkirkara Branch Post Office, Triq il-Wied (Valley Road)
    • Birkirkara Sub-Post Offices at: Triq Mannarino (Mannarino Road); Triq Tumas Fenech (Thomas Fenech Street); and Triq L. Casolani (L. Casolani Street)
  • Da Vinci Hospital, Triq Kan. K. Pirotta (Can. K. Pirotta Street)
  • Birkirkara Health Centre, Triq Tumas Fenech
  • Birkirkara Regional Library, Triq Tumas Fenech

Zones in Birkirkara

  • Bwieraq
  • Fleur-de-Lys
  • Għar il-Ġobon
  • Laqxija
  • Mrieħel
  • Ta' Fuq il-Wied
  • Ta' Ganu
  • Ta' Paris
  • Tal-Brieqex
  • Tal-Maħlut
  • Tal-Qattus
  • Tas-Salib
  • Tas-Swatar
  • Ħas-Sajjied


Birkirkara has a multi-sport club in Birkirkara Saint Joseph Sports Club, commonly referred to simply as Birkirkara St. Joseph, mostly known for its Athletics section,[12] however, it also has active sections responsible for cycling,[13] triathlon,[14] swimming,[15] and (amateur) football,[16] which competes in the Maltese Inter-Amateur Soccer Competition.[17]

The latter is, however, definitely surpassed by Birkirkara F.C., led by Adrian Delia,[18] who have won the Maltese Premier League four times.[19] Birkirkara F.C. have a good record in UEFA Europa League when compared to other Maltese teams, having beaten West Ham United F.C. at a point, only to be eliminated from 2015-16 UEFA Europa League on penalties.[20][21][22][23][24] Birkirkara also eliminated Heart of Midlothian in the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League.[25][26][27][28]

Malta Financial Services Authority

The financial regulator of Malta, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), has its headquarters in Birkirkara.

Twin towns — sister cities

Birkirkara is twinned with:[29]


  1. "The Malta Government Gazette" (PDF). 3 September 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  2. Abela, Giovanni Francesco (1647). Della Descrizione di Malta Isola nel Mare Siciliano con le sue Antichità, ed Altre Notizie (in Italian). Paolo Bonacota. p. 90.
  3. "Birkirkara, Malta - Information and interests". 31 August 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  4. Malta Independent (25 June 2005). "Possible Solution for Birkirkara flooding problems in the pipeline - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  5. "Planning Authority". 2 October 2016. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  6. Reports on the Working of Government Departments 1975. Department of Information. Executive Departments. 1975.
  7. Young, Raymond. "4 Bedroom Palazzo For Sale in Birkirkara". Property Market. Archived from the original on 5 September 2018.
  9. Allied Newspapers Ltd (20 October 2016). "And the accident capital of Malta is... Birkirkara". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  10. "Birkirkara climate and weather". world 66. 10 June 2013. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  11. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 January 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Athletics". 20 June 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  13. "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Cycling". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  14. "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Triathlon". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  15. "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Swimming". 12 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  16. "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Home". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  17. "Birkirkara St.Joseph Sports Club :: Football". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  18. "Administration". Birkirkara FC. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  19. "The Club History". Birkirkara FC. 6 December 1996. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  20. Hafez, Shamoon (23 July 2015). "Birkirkara 1-0 West Ham (3-5 on pens) - BBC Sport". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  21. "Brave Birkirkara eliminated as West Ham win penalty shoot-out". 23 July 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  22. Augustus, Luke. "Birkirkara 1-0 West Ham United AET (1-1 agg, 3-5 pens): Europa League dream still alive (just) as James Tomkins sees red and stuttering 10 men need penalties to avoid embarrassing defeat | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  23. Allied Newspapers Ltd (23 July 2015). "Update 3 - Agony for Birkirkara as West Ham beat them in penalty shoot-out". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  24. Last Updated: 24/07/15 11:05am (23 July 2015). "Birkirkara 1 - 0 West Ham - Match Report & Highlights". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  25. "Updated - Watch Birkirkara's two goals against Hearts as Stripes make European history - The Malta Independent". 22 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  26. Wilson, Richard (21 July 2016). "Heart of Midlothian 1-2 Birkirkara (1-2) - BBC Sport". Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  27. Gordon Parks (21 July 2016). "Hearts 1 Birkirkara 2: Three things we learned as Maltese minnows send Jambos crashing out". Daily Record. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  28. "Europa League - Hearts shocked by Birkirkara Hibernian lose on penalties". Espn Fc. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  29. "Twinning". Government of Malta. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
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