The 10 tonne bronze Great Siege Bell memorial was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth and the President of Malta, in May 1992, the 50th anniversary of King George VI awarding the "George Cross of Bravery" to the island of Malta in 1942.
It commemorates the victory of the Allied forces during the Second Siege of Malta from 1940-1943. Italian and German forces battled with Allied forces to gain control of Malta - an important strategic location. 7000 lost their lives then during this seige.
Looking at it from a distance, I thought it was another old monument, it blended in so well, but as you read, and once you are closer, you can see that it's fairly newish.
At the moment, the Fort is being restored. It is NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC but will eventually open as a Museum.
When the island was under Aragonese Rule, this building was known as the Castle by the Sea.
It is thought to date back to the 11th century, when the island was under Arab occupation, then from the 14th century, under Aragonese rule. The fort was the home of the powerful Nava family, feudal lords of the island.
At the beginning, the Fort only had 3 small guns and several mortars, then the Knights came along and added a cavalier tower. At one time the fort was used as a jail to imprison rebellious knights.
There are two chapels inside the fortress - one dedicated to the Virgin (12th century) and one to St. Anne (1534).
The Grand Masters who died before Valletta was built were buried in St. Annes Chapel, and their remains were later transferred to St. John's Cathedral.
Then the British came and turned St. Angelo into Naval Headquarters, naming the Fort, H.M.S. St. Angelo. Several famous admirals, including Lord Mountbatten, were stationed there.
So for the time being, all you can do is enjoy the view of the Fort from the outside.
As our Cruise Ship neared the city of Valletta, we cruised by Point Ricasoli and the massive Fort Ricasoli, once only a small Fort of 7 Bastions.
The Fort was extensively mined, armed, and fitted with artillery, and even with all this defence, it still was considered a weak Fort. The heavy seas hitting hard against the walls didn't help either.
In 1827, the Fort was turned into a hospital and catered for the sick and wounded, then later, it was turned it into an isolation station for those who had cholera.
The British strengthened Fort Ricasoli by constructing several casements for heavy guns, gun turrets, emplacements, and barracks. By 1870 it contained over 100 guns facing the sea and a 700 strong garrison.
Now, the Fort is the home of the "Malta Film commission."
Have you seen the films "The Gladiator," Julius Caesar" or "Troy," you may recognize the Fort!
The Fort sometimes has open days so you can visit the film sets showing ancient Rome constructed within this fort, a popular site for epic filming.
In 1531 Grand Master l’Isle Adam set up two stone gallows on Gallow's Point in order to hang two Turks and 10 slaves who planned a revolt while the Grandmaster and the knights were expected to be in Mdina. Between 1536 and 1560, more met their death here. In later years, these gallows were also used to hang galley slaves who tried to escape. The corpses were left hanging in plain view of all incoming and outgoing Ships to deter visitors to the island from committing unlawful acts.
It later was turned into a Fort, and re-named Fort Riscoli.
The three cities: Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua.
When the Knights first came to Malta in 1530 they made the small fortified town of Birgu, later renamed Vittoriosa, their base and soon after built Senglea and Cospicua.
PICTURE: Sengle offers a spectacular view of Grand Harbour and Valletta from the look-out point, La Gordiola, sculpted with an eye, an ear and a bird and situated in the small Safe Haven Garden atL'isla Point.
nice place to take photografs
The gardens overlook the Three Cities and the harbour and offer one of the best panoramas in Valletta. It has been a favourite spot for many and it is a must photo stop!
The grand harbour of Valletta is very famous between three cities and fortress as well. The view photos here from the Barrakka Gardens.
YOU CANNOT AVOID A BOAT RIDE BECAUSE EVERY TIME YOU GO NEAR THE SEA......A BOY WILL SAY TO YOU.......WANTA RENTA BOATA......WANTA RENTA BOAT !