Thursday, April 24, 2014

Siege Bell/World War II Memorial, Valletta, Malta

Along the walls overlooking Valletta's harbor is an unassuming bell tower with a single bell inside. The bell was unveiled in 1992 by Queen Elizabeth II and the President of Malta as a tribute to the 8000 Maltese and British who died during the 1940-1942 Siege of Malta.

When the Axis powers opened up a new front in North Africa, the strategically important islands of Malta (which are between Sicily and North Africa but were at the time British possessions) became the target of a massive bombing campaign (3000 raids in two years). The Royal Air Force and the British Navy defended the island and held out until the Allied Forces landed in Morocco and Algeria in November 1942. The Axis powers redirected their focus to Northern Africa and Malta was soon able to join the Allied offensive.

Siege Bell, Valletta

Memorial plaques

The bell has a warning sign that it is rung at noon every day and people had best beware of the loud noise. We visited long after noon so we were okay.

The bell

Not the warning plaque

The siege bell overlooks the harbor in two directions, giving a view of one of the forts as well as the inner harbor.

Looking out into the Grand Harbor and the Mediterranean beyond

The end of the memorial area

By the inner harbor another statue has been erected in honor of those lost. The plaque says, "At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them" in English and Malti.


Side view of the statue

The statue's plaque

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