TOP

logo
Malta
  • icon
    Search for Air Ticket
    Search
    icon
  • icon
    Search for Hotels
    Search
    icon
  • icon
    Search for Tour Packages
    Search
    icon
  • icon
    Search for Sightseeing
    Search
    icon
  • icon
    Search for Travel Activity
    Search
    icon
icon Worldwideicon
Contact

Destination Details

Various, Malta

 

Fortifications & Towers 
 
Malta has often been called the ‘Fortress Island' due to the great mass of military architecture that can be seen everywhere. This is a legacy of the islands' history which saw them being fought over, time and again, due to their strategic location and deep, safe harbours. 
 
The fortifications that can be seen today come from two distinct periods: those of the Knights and those of the British era. These imposing reminders of the islands' wartime past fascinate not only because they are a feat of military engineering, but also because they are reminiscent of an age of chivalry, crusading, heroism and legendary battles. 
 
Indoors, start at museums such as the Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa, the National War Museum and the Armoury, both in Valletta. Outdoors, stroll along Valletta's bastions or venture a tour of the Victoria Lines fortifications running along the Great Fault east to west across Malta. Wherever you go, you'll find remnants of war, from 17th century coastal forts and watch towers to WWII pillboxes.
 
FORT RINELLA
Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna, St. Rocco Road, Kalkara, Malta
 
British Royal Engineers built Fort Rinella between 1878 and 1886 at a time when the Islands were threatened by the supremacy of the Italian navy. The fort was therefore equipped with a massive 100-ton gun as a coastal battery, designed to become the world’s largest cannon.
 
The gun, still on show at Fort Rinella, has a barrel almost 10-metres long and could fire a one-ton shell about three miles. During WWII, the fort served as a coastal watching point for the British forces. The fort museum depicts the life of the British garrisons based here and shows how the great gun was operated. It also houses a collection of militaria and ordnance. 
 
RE-LIVE HISTROY AT FORT RINELLA 
Throughout the year, from Tuesday to Sunday at 14.30hrs sharp, volunteers dressed as late 19th century Victorian soldiers will take visitors on an animated tour around the fort.
 
FORT ST. ANGELO
Vittoriosa Waterfront, Vittoriosa, Malta
 
Fort St. Angelo is the jewel in the crown of The Maltese Islands’ military heritage. According to legend, the fort stands on the site of a fortified Roman settlement.
 
When the Knights arrived on the Island in 1530, the Fort became the seat of the Grand Master of the Order. It was to play a heroic role in the Great Siege of 1565, when, against all odds, it managed to repel a formidable Saracen armada. The epic resistance of the Knights during the three-month siege gave the Fort its legendary status.
 
In the 19th century, the British took over the Fort and in 1912 it was officially listed as a ship, first as HMS Egmont and then in1933 it was renamed HMS St. Angelo.
 
More recently, the Government granted the Order of the Knights of St. John the upper part of the fort, comprising the magisterial palace and St. Anne's Chapel.
 
SALUTING BATTERY
Battery Street, Valletta, Malta
 
The Old Saluting Battery stands on the lower part of the St. Peter and St. Paul Bastion. Originally built in the 16th century, it remained in continuous use up to 1960. The battery functioned as a master time keeper, as the gun shots at sunrise and sunset marked the beginning and end of the working day, as well as the opening or closing of the town gates.
 
The noon gun was fired to signal to mariners in the harbour the exact hour of mid-day, which was necessary for the regulation of watches on board ships for accurate navigation. The Saluting Battery was restored in 2005, complete with eleven original British 24-pounder cannons from the mid-late 19th century and volunteers dressed in uniforms of the time, representing the Royal Malta Artillery.
 
Location: Lower area of St. Peter and St. Paul Bastion, Valletta (right under the Upper Barracca Gardens).
 
ST. AGATHA'S TOWER (THE RED TOWER)
Triq tad-Dahar, Mellieħa, Malta
 
Also known as the Red Tower (due to the colour it was painted and restored in), Grand Master Lascaris built St. Agatha’s Tower in 1647. At the time of its construction, it was the furthest outpost from Valletta and served as a signal post for communication with Gozo. One of the main defensive positions during the time of the Knights, it was equipped with a cannon and garrison of 30 men.
 
The entrance to the Tower is approached by a flight of steps separated from the door by a drawbridge. Square in plan with four corner towers rising from the base, the outer walls are about four metres thick, through which small windows were cut. In the 18th century, a low star-shaped entrenchment was added. During the British period the tower was used for defence purposes and was manned during both world wars. In recent times it was equipped as a radar station by the Armed Forces of Malta.

Check out more destinations