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These two adjacent towns on the North West side of Valletta came into being at the beginning of this century. Formerly, St. Julians was a fishing village and Sliema a restful resort for people from the Valletta area. The two localities are now modern towns with more than 40,000 inhabitants. They are also important tourist centres with many hotels and other establishments.

SLIEMA is divided into four distinct parishes - each with its parish church - Stella Maris, the Sacred Heart, St. Gregory and Jesus of Nazareth.

A large part of Sliema is built around the creek facing Manoel Island in Marsamxett Harbour. The elegant strand promenade bordering the Creek is popular with Sunday strollers, who like to observe other people, and be observed, in turn as they pass by.

Tower Road and its neighbouring streets make up the fashionable district, with numerous shops, boutiques, banks and small restaurants. Ghar-id-Dud is the haunt of families with children and people from all walks of life. From here another seaside promenade follows the shoreline up to St. Julian's Bay.

The landward side of Sliema is the residential quarter, where more than 20,000 people live.

ST. JULIANS is an extension of Sliema. It started as a small fishing port around the two bays of Spinola and Balluta: but like Sliema it is now a major residential town and tourist centre. Hotels of all categories abound, particularly at Paceville, where a high-c ass Casino, amusement halls, discotheques and night-spots provide entertainment for the thousands of youths and foreign visitors who frequent the locality.

Despite the mundane aspect of the town, the religious needs of its inhabitants are also well-catered for by several fine churches, in particular, the Parish of St. Julians and the Neo -Gothic Carmelite church at Balluta Bay.

Spinola Palace, built by the Italian Knight Paolo Spinola in 1658 is a magnificent example of period architecture. It dominates the tiny bay which bears its name.

ST. GEORGE'S BAY at Paceville has a small sandy beach - the only one in the Sliema area. It is frequented by the patrons of the hotels in the vicinity. The imposing Dragonara Palace Casino stands on the promontory east of the bay. The Institute of Tourism Studies is also located in this area.

Text courtesy of the National Tourism Organisation - Malta.