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The Ultimate Guide To Malta’s Prolific Historical Fort Building: Setting Personal Boundaries Part 4

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We all know a thing or two about building walls around us — be it emotional or mental. These guys down here however are pros at building walls around stuff.

We are slowly but steadfastly reaching this series’ end, thus that means that we will also get to know who the winner of this Godforsaken competition is. After covering towers, lines and an introduction to forts, we are now ready to talk about who gave Trump the idea to build a wall.

1. Mdina

Mdina was around since like, forever. The city was founded eons ago and had been inhibited by many of our conquerors over the ages. When the Knights came over they decided to arm the city up with some really cool walls around it. Most of the walls were already there, however the Knights decided to upgrade them a little bit in order to rebuff any enemy attacks.

The first walls around the city were made around the Bronze Age, updated by the Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines Arabs and even the Normans. When the Order eventually took over, the city lost much of its glamour since they all decided to settle down in Birgu. However eventually they started adding bastions and castles to the area.

Mdina was reduced in size after the Great Siege as it proved to be too large to protect — turning it into a mesmerising fortress. Many castles, walls, gates and churches were added to it along with bastionettes and batteries to protect the lovely city.

2. Ċittadella

In Gozo we find one great walled city which seriously looks like something out of Game of Thrones. Just like Mdina, this area had been inhabited since forever and at some point it was a Roman city too.

The Knights worked on most of the upgrades we can see today on the Ċittadella, however in like 1551 it was attacked and almost completely destroyed by the Ottomans. Actually, this city was attacked repeatedly by the Ottomans and at one point it was so heavily taken over that almost everybody in Gozo was captured and enslaved.

When the Order eventually started working on Valletta they decided to leave the Ċittadella as is, it was too much of a hassle for them to work on both cities at once.

The French gave the gift of water to the Ċittadella by building an aqueduct in the 19th Century, however the Brits kind of left it as is when they took over since they did not feel like it would be much of an investment.

3. Birgu

Birgu is littered with swar. These defensive walls leave anyone who get the chance to visit them in awe at how wonderful and majestic they look. The walls of Birgu took around two centuries to build and were done over by the Knights of St. John, obv.

The first inkling of any sort of wall in the area was introduced by the Arabs in the 9th Century when they built the first version of what today we call Fort St. Angelo. When the Knights came however it was like, all ruins and stuff and they were a bit salty for being kicked out of Rhodes. But they immediately saw the potential in Malta — they could own their own island brah. #makeover

Anyway, since these guys decided to establish themselves in Birgu (sick views and all) they started working on Fort St. Angelo as we know it today right around the 16th Century. At first it was just the fort that had walls around it, but as time passed they started Minecrafting their way through walling the whole damn city.

They did such an amazing job that when the Ottomans came over in 1551 to throw us some shade via gunpowder, they saw the walls and went back home.

4. Isla

After doing the whole Birgu thing the Knights needed to get a new expansion pack in order to win this competition, so they decided to expand their fortifications to Senglea.

They started off by building the lovely Fort St. Michael in 1552. The expansion continued for around two centuries more, which was a good thing since this city played a great role in The Great Siege of Malta. It became known as the unconquered city as the Ottomans failed repeatedly at taking it over.

These fortifications consist of numerous bastions and a cool sea level battery. We can still enjoy the beauty of Senglea’s spur and the lovely Gardjola till this day, along with the very strange but majestic Maċina — a wedgy bastion o the creek which was used to mount masts on galleys.

5. Bormla

In the 17th Century, the Knights were still heavily obsessed with the whole three Cities area, however they ran out of money at one point and had to stop expanding on all of them walls around Bormla. We can still however enjoy the Notre Dame Gate and St. Paul Bastions which were built around Cospicua.

These bastions were pretty strong and along with them the Knights also constructed that really cool dockyard, which was eventually used by the Brits during the First and Second World Wars.

The dockyard kept on being used up until the 21st Century, however it is nowadays undergoing a serious makeover as a touristic attraction.

6. Valletta

Valletta is one of those really cool cities which scream ‘respect my authoritay” when looked at. Seriously. Go stare at that city from opposite, you will feel psychologically undermined by its grandiosity. It was the Knight’s lovechild — they built its first fort in 1552, but the actual walls came around in like, 1566.

Valletta is like, the Knight’s equivalent of having a really small penis and making up for it by buying a fucking Hummer of the 16th Century. Seriously it had a bunch of guns and attack points and major defence XP like no other city on the island.

Do you know anyone who likes forts? Tag them in the comments below

READ NEXT: WATCH: The Largest Fort In Malta Is Falling Apart, And This NGO Wants To Do Something About It


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