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Żabbar lies just inland from the Three Cities and shares a common history. The Cottonera Lines of landward fortifications reach the outskirts of Żabbar. The town was used as an encampment by the Ottoman armies at the outset of the Great Siege and later as a base by the Maltese insurgents against French rule in around 1800. Żabbar was granted city status by the last Grand Master on Malta, Ferdinand de Hompesch, in whose name the population built a triumphal arch on the main approach road from Paola. While Żabbar today is a large town, the old centre, with its narrow alleys and small square, is characteristic of Maltese villages. The historical highlight of Żabbar is the Parish Church dedicated to Our Lady of Graces, which has one of the most monumental and ornate baroque exteriors on the Islands. The Żabbar Sanctuary Museum under the church houses an interesting collection showing the link between the Order of St John and the institution of the church.