History of Locality Pietà-Guardamangia is made up of two distinct localities that by time came to form one single district. The lower part, called Pietà, began its development almost immediately after the Great Siege of 1565. During that momentous event, the Ottomans pitched one of their greatest encampments here, bringing about a tremendous environmental change. After their departure the place was left utterly devastated.
However, documentary evidence shows that people began to settle at Pietà as early as 1570. This was mainly due to the building of Valletta, which is very close by in the south-west. Shortly afterwards, during the plague of 1592-94, a large cemetery was built at Pietà, and this began to contribute to its urbanisation and population growth. So much so that in 1612 a chapel and a rectory were built dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows (‘La Pietà’ in Italian) from which the locality took its name. This was entrusted to the Augustinian monks, who stayed there until 1652. But another outbreak of the plague disrupted life in the surroundings until 1714. After that, people began to return to build their homes there and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the place. Beautiful houses were erected, and spacious gardens constructed. Pietà was half-way between Valletta and Floriana, and the Sliema area, and this gave it much prominence as an idyllic place of commutation and a preferred place of residence.