The Malta Independent 25 May 2024, Saturday
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A vibrant special opening at Fort Delimara

Thursday, 18 April 2024, 15:22 Last update: about 2 months ago

Heritage Malta is inviting the public to experience Fort Delimara like never before, following the completion of further consolidation works, during a special opening on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April.

Fort Delimara is a classic example of a Victorian coastal fortification, built in the last quarter of the 19th century to pro tect the port of Marsaxlokk below it. Since May last year, consolidation works and treatments at the fort have continued unabated, and the building has now been given back its complete configuration as it was in 1964, when the British military ceased operations.

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During this two-day event, visitors will have the opportunity to explore this historical site and enjoy the results of Heritage Malta's efforts. Eight guided tours will take place on both days - four in Maltese, at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm, and four in English, at 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. Tickets for these tours are limited and must be booked in advance. The public may also acquire tickets at the door, at slightly lower prices, however these will give access to the fort without guidance.

Chief amongst the works completed is the removal of various animal pens dating back to the 1980s, when the fort started to be used as a farm. This re-exposed a historical wall, known as a parados, which was constructed in 1880 to protect the barracks, and the original concrete floor, both dating back to 1880. It also gave better access to the magazines located beneath one of the breech loader guns which the fort possessed between 1892 and 1956.

The underground communication passageways have been thoroughly cleaned. These lead to the counterscarp galleries in the ditch, which were used to shoot enemy soldiers that would possibly enter the ditch during an attack. The counterscarp galleri es, open for the first time, will only be accessible as part of a guided tour.

Beyond the beauty of the building itself, visitors will also be able to see some of the 38-ton guns out of the six that were present when the fort was still used for military purposes. Unique worldwide as they are the only cannons of their kind still on th eir carriages and in their original casemate emplacements, throughout the years they suffered great damage and vandalism. They have now been treated, their rust removed, and given a fresh layer of historically-accurate paint.

There will also be various other activities that ensure fun for all. These include re-enactment shows from the World War II era, an opportunity to learn about airsoft shooting weapons (this activity is donation-based), and a colourful programme for the little ones, with exciting adventures and experiments.

Tickets for the guided tours, available at very affordable prices, may be booked here: www.heritagemalta.mt/store or from any Heritage Malta site or museum. The fort will be open from 10am till 6pm on both days, and visitors will be able to use a space adjacent to the fort as a parking lot.

Ground levels at the fort vary in certain places, and therefore it is very important that visitors wear comfortable shoes. Guided tours may prove challenging for wheelchair users, and parts of them may be challenging for people suffering from claustrophobia. Animals are welcome but must be held on a leash at all times. Food may be purchased onsite.


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