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Your Guide to Malta and Gozo - St Helen's Gate

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St Helen's Gate

This impressive gate in the baroque style is approximately at the mid-point of the Santa Margerita line of bastions. It has been known as the Porta dei Mortari, on account of the two marble mortars with cannonballs at their muzzle. These flank a marble wreath that encloses two defaced escutcheons above the archway. Prior to being defaced by the French administration in 1798, the escutcheons bore bas-reliefs of the eight pointed cross and the coat of arms of Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena. St. Helen's gate was designed by Charles de Mondion but it was not completed until long after his death – this notwithstanding the inscription claiming that the construction was completed by 1736.The original drawbridge that used to be an essential feature of this gate was later replaced by the British Governorship, who also filled in the ditch with earth and rubble.

The St. Helen's gate received a much needed facelift in 2004.