Fort St. Michael

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Fort St. Michael

Fort St. Michael was one of the three forts defending the Knights stronghold in Grand Harbour during the siege, along with Fort. St. Elmo and Fort St. Angelo.

Fort St. Michael was built by the Knights of Malta between 1551 and 1565 on the peninsula then known as Isla St. Michael. The area is still known as L-Isla but is now occupied by the fortified city of Senglea.

During the great siege of Malta, Fort St. Michael was the scene of some of the most desperate fighting. Although Fort St. Elmo fell, both Fort St. Michael and Fort St. Angelo withstood the siege but the former was massively damaged. Fort St. Michael withstood 10 assaults from the Ottoman Turkish attackers. Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette gave the title “Civitas Invicta” (The Unconquered City).

The rebuilding and development of the fortified city of Senglea after the siege continued until 1581. The name Fort St. Michael became associated with the landward bastion of Senglea from which this shot was taken. This part of the Senglea was largely dismantled during the extensions of the dockyard area during the British occupation at the end of the 19th century and during the construction of a primary school in the 1920s. The remainder was badly damaged by aerial bombing during the second world war.

Many thanks go to John Stanicic from the Senglea Historical Society for without him we couldn't have taken this great shot.