The re-Christianization of the Maltese Islands following the Norman conquest triggered the crafting of hundreds of modest places of worship. The first examples were mostly located underground, but with the unfolding of the 14th and 15th centuries, the greater part of these chapels were built above ground.


By the 14th-century, the Algerian port city of Bejaia grew into a terrifying corsairing hub. Malta and Gozo experienced the brunt of the Barbary privateers to the extent that all coastal settlements with the exception of Birgu got deserted during the 14th- and 15th-centuries. Likewise, all able-bodied man aged between 16 and 65 take an active part in the defence schemes.


The villages we live in today started taking shape hundreds of years ago, but the overall scenario was appreciably different during the Late Middle Ages. The countryside was dotted by a constellation of hamlets, in particular south of the Great Fault. A good number perished, while others fused into bigger settlements. In Gozo, it was a different story. The respective villages came into being following the completion of an effective coastal defence system during the course of the 17th century.