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Fortified Houses: The Ultimate Guide To Malta’s Prolific Fort-Building History, Part 7

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Forts of all shapes and sizes are all over Malta. already We’ve covered redoubts, lines, towers, entrenchments and walled cities. This series is now coming to a swift end, and for the penultimate episode, we will be covering Palaces and Fortified Houses.

Most of these entries are done by none other than the Knights of St. John, avid competitors and defence enthusiasts.

1. Verdala Palace, Buskett

Built by the Knights in the 16th century to accommodate their Grandmasters and Malta’s future presidents, this amazing Palace is an architectural work of art.

Verdala was used for defensive purposes for the first time during the French Blockade.

It was also used as a military prison for the French soldiers captured by the British some time after that. We wouldn’t really complain about being held hostage in this lush piece of art to be honest, White Lady rumours aside.

2. Gauci Tower, Naxxar

Screen Shot 2018 06 25 At 17 45 41

This cool AF tower was built to safeguard a certain Francesco Gauci’s family from raids and pirate attacks. This pretty square structure is still intact and can be enjoyed by looking it at from a distance — since it’s private property.

It was built during the time of the Knights, and Grand Master de Vallette was super jealous of Gauci’s cool creation, so he tried taking it away from the man.

Thankfully, Gauci managed to keep the tower, but the Knights couldn’t not have a Naxxar entry, so they built it-Torri tal-Kaptan a couple of stone throws away from Gauci’s beast. Gauci needs to be thanked, for proving that each and everyone of us can have a fort. #LifeGoals

3. L-Armerija, Siġġiewi

The Siġġiewi Armoury is another amazing entry to house the village’s lieutenant as his very own guardhouse. This cool house was filled with weapons and arms needed to protect the village. This armoury comes equipped with slits which you can totally shoot arrows from, machicolations and a lovely arched entrance.

4. Ingraw Tower, Żejtun

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Photograph: Ruben Abela, 2014

Clement Tabone was a very busy man. Żejtun needs to thank this guy for building the St. Clement’s Chapel and also this rural tower. It was built to defend the village of Żejtun, since being so close to sea it was quite frequently attacked by corsairs, pirates and other raging pillagers.

It was dismantled at some point and the stones were used to build a room-like structure with the Tabone coat of Arms on it.

5. Vincenti Tower, Mqabba

This tower was built in the 18th Century by a guy from the Order, to form part of his country residence. During the Second World War it was heavily damaged due to the frequent air attacks on the island.

The damage was only done to the bottom of the structure, but the Brits totally decided to tear down two and a half of its floors. Geez, thanks a bunch guys.

6. Tal-Buttar Tower, Marsascala

Tal-Buttar is found in the limits of Marsascala and was used as a defence structure by the Knights. It seems to have had a drawbridge and all, and it comes with a cool watermill. Nowadays, it’s private property and has been converted into a lovely farmhouse.

7. Santa Cecilia Tower, Għajnsielem

The Santa Cecilia Tower in the limits of Għajnsielem is strategically placed between the Ċittadella and Mġarr. It was built to safeguard the tiny island from enemy attacks. It was also used to send messages across the island, probably with fire or something.

This tower provided refuge to the people of the area during pirate attacks, and comes with a really cute chapel nearby.

Do you know anyone who would like to own a tower? Tag them in the comments below

READ NEXT: 6 Quirky Museums Around Malta and Gozo You Should Visit At Least Once

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