Virtual tour of Fort St. Angelo. Panorama of Fort St. Angelo. Maps, travel, photos, videos.

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Description  panorama

Fort St. Angelo

POI: 35.891944, 14.518333
Fort Saint Angelo (Maltese: Forti Sant'Anġlu or Fortizza Sant'Anġlu) is a large bastioned fort in Birgu, Malta, located at the centre of the Grand Harbour. It was originally built in the medieval period as a castle called the Castrum Maris or the Castello al Mare. It was rebuilt by the Order of Saint John as a bastioned fort called Fort Saint Angelo between the 1530s and the 1690s, and it is best known for its role as the Order's headquarters during the Great Siege of Malta of 1565. The fort was garrisoned by the British from 1800 to 1979, at times being classified as a stone frigate known as HMS Egmont or later HMS St Angelo. The fort suffered considerable damage during World War II, but it was later restored. In 1998, the upper part of the fort has handed back to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Fort St. Angelo has been on Malta's tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1998, as part of the Knights' Fortifications around the Harbours of Malta.
History
Middle Ages
The date of its original construction is unknown. However, there are claims of prehistoric or classical buildings near the site, due to some large ashlar blocks and an Egyptian pink granite column at the top part of the fort. There is also the mentioning in Roman texts of a temple dedicated to Juno/Astarte, probably in the vicinity of the fort. There is also the popular attribute to its foundation to the Arabs, c. 870 AD, but nothing is concrete although al-Himyarī mentions that the Arabs dismantled a hisn (fortress), but there is no actual reference if this 'fortress' was in Birgu. Its probable start as a fortification is the high/late medieval period. In fact, in 1220 Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II started to appoint his own Castellani for Malta who needed a place to live and secure the interests of the crown. The remains of a tower that may date back to the 12th century can be traced among the more recent works. The first mention of Castrum Maris ("Castle by the sea") is to be found in documents from the 1240s when Paulinus of Malta was the lord of the island and later when Giliberto Abate made a census of the islands. Another reference to the castle is that from the short Angevin rule (1266–83) where documents list it again as Castrum Maris and list a garrison of 150 men together with several weapons. It seems also that by 1274, the castle already had two chapels which are still there today. From the same year exists also a detailed inventory of weapons and supplies in the castle. From 1283 the Maltese islands were under Aragonese rule (although the castle withstood for some time in Angevin rule while the rest of Malta was already in Aragonese hands) and the fortification was mainly used by Castellani (like the de Nava family) who were there to safeguard the interests of the Aragonese crown. In fact the Castellans did not have any jurisdiction outside the ditch of the fort.
Knights' period
When the Order of Saint John arrived in Malta in 1530,...   ... (English)
Fort St. Angelo - Deutsch -> English  Norske -> English  
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Fort de Sant Àngel - Català -> English  
Forte de Santo Ângelo - Português -> English  
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