Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Birgu/Vittoriosa, Malta Part II

After seeing the heart of Birgu, we wandered over to Fort St. Angelo, which is on the end of Birgu's peninsula. The original fortress was built by the Arabs in AD 828. Before that the Phoenicians and Romans had temples to their gods; after that the Normans had a chapel built to Our Lady in 1090. When the Order of St. John came in 1530, Grand Master de l'Isle Adam built a large fortification here. It was the headquarters during the Great Siege and saw lots of action. In the early 1900s, the British used it as a headquarters for their Mediterranean Navy. Sadly, the fort was closed for repairs so we didn't see the inside.

Our first view of the fort from an adjacent road

A small body of water between town and the fort--the moat?

Main fort entrance

Impressive walls of the fort

The fort has nice views over to Valletta, even from outside.

Valletta street that goes up

Valletta's fortifications

Docks run along the marina, including some impressive ships waiting to head out.

Sleek cruising boat

Not so sleek cruising boat

We walked down the marina away from the fort and saw some waterside shops and restaurants, one of which had an old train engine in front.

Marina shopping and dining

A random engine

The area is also home to the Malta Maritime Museum, which we did not visit.

Malta Maritime Museum

After walking through an impressive arch, we came across the Freedom Monument. It was built in 1979 to commemorate the independence of Malta from Britain. It's the spot where the British withdrew as well as the spot where Nelson landed in 1799 to claim Malta for Great Britain. The monument is on a small rise that has plenty of vegetation, making it hard to see and appreciate.

Marina entrance

Freedom Monument

After returning to Victory Square for lunch, we headed back to our car and were off to the airport.

A last view of Birgu and its marina

Before we leave Malta, there will be a post on food (naturally) and one more church!

No comments:

Post a Comment