Senglea, like the capital Valletta, is located on a promontory in the heart of Grand Harbour. It is the the smallest of the Three Cities in the Cottonera, 823 meters in length by 320 metres at its widest point. This less than a mile long and fairly new peninsula is situated between Galley Port (or Dockyard Creek) on the Cospicua side and the French Creek. Its sharp projection at the far end into the Grand Harbour is colloquially known as il-Ponta.

The original city was built during the time of the Knights of St John in the 16th century. Throughout the reign of the Knights bastions and forts were built around the entire perimeter and it was considered the second most important city after Valletta. Under British rule it was a key part of the British naval dockyard, but it was also a key Axis target during World War II and suffered much destruction between 1940 and 1943. It has since been rebuilt and plays its part in the development and growth of the Maltese Islands.

The popular name for this city derived from Italian L’Isola (L-Isla) meaning an island, which basically indicates its geographic structure, nearly cut off by two hills Mill Hill and St Julians’s Hill.

Read more here:  http://islalocalcouncil.com/historicalinfo.htm