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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - Fort St. Angelo

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 Fort St Angelo

 

 

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The known history of Fort St. Angelo goes back to the Angevin period, when it was known as the Castrum Maris, or the Castle by the Sea. Little is left of the original structure as the Knights demolished the old building in the 1680s to give it its present form. St. Angelo is atypical in that Lower Globigerina Limestone, known locally as Żonqor was used in its construction. Engineer Don Carlos de Grunenburg was responsable for the new design. The financial resources of the Knights were largely tied up in other projects, so a generous loan by de Grunenburg made it possible for the reconstruction of St. Angelo to proceed. The Knights acknowledged his generosity by prominently displaying his Coat of Arms above the Fort's main entrance.

Fort St. Angelo served as Grand Master La Vallette's headquarters during the 1565 Great Siege of Malta. Grand Master La Cassiere was briefly imprisoned here in 1581 after a revolt led by his opponent Romegas. Another famous inmate was Caravaggio who was handed a prison sentence for having murdered a knight.

The British used St. Angelo as a vast storage facility and as a residence for British Officers in the early 20th century. The British renamed the Fort HMS Egmont in 1912 and later HMS angelo. It was desecrated in the 1980's when it was utilised as a hotel complete with a large swimming pool.