Notre Dame Gate - Cottonera Gate / Zabbar Gate / Bieb is- Sultan / Porta della Maria Vergine delle Grazie
Built in 1675 by the Order of St. John as part of the Cottonera Lines to serve as its main gate for the Eastern Provinces, this grand baroque building survives complete and includes some marvelous architectural features which are not found anywhere else in Malta. It stands on four levels which makes it still the highest peak in the region. From its roof one can enjoy stunning views of most of the island. It consist of four large bomb-proof casemates standing upon each other flanking the roadway and crowned by a large gatehouse which originally housed the lifting mechanism for its portcullis gate. This building has a very rich and colourful history most of which is still visible in its stone in the shape of musket ball indentations and many graffiti left behind by soldiers of the Order's navy, the French and the British.
Following the nearby building of the Cottonera Military Hospital in 1870, the gate gradually started serving as an adjunct to the new military medical establishment. Following the debacle at Gallipoli in 1915, thousands of wounded troops were brought to Malta for treatment and convalescence and some of these were accommodated at Notre Dame Gate for the duration of the Great War.