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Zabbar, one of the oldest villages, was raised to the status of a City just over two centuries ago. Zabbar is a residential town situated on the South East of Malta. Its origins are obscure in antiquity, but the population of the area became relativey.

Significant enough to gain parish status under the patronage of Our Lady of Graces way back in 1615. Another milestone in the history fo Zabbar is the elevation of the village to the status of a city by Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch on 14 September 1797.

On that day, the Grand Master decreed that the city be named Graziosa Citta Hompesch. In spite of the fact that this locality has now become a major town and development is taking place all along its outskirts. Zabbar today is still a peaceful and quiet town surrounded by cultivated countryside and a stretch of unspoiled rocky beach overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The town was used as an encampment by the Ottoman armies at the outset of the Great Siege of 1565. Ħaż-Żabbar was granted city status by the last Grand Master on Malta, Ferdinand von Hompesch, in whose name the population built a triumphal arch on the main approach road from Paola through Fgura.

During the Maltese uprising against the French between 1798 and 1800 the city was used as a base by the Maltese insurgents. A memorable battle on 5 October 1798 took place in front of the Ħaż-Żabbar Sanctuary. To this day, French-era cannonballs are to be seen in a household wall in the city’s older parts and some are also in the church museum after being retrieved from the old church dome.