ERDF Funds for Fort St. Angelo

The Maltese Government has recently announced that Heritage Malta will be allocated €13.4 million

from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for the restoration and rehabilitation of Fort St Angelo.   This important historical fort is, after Valletta and Fort St Elmo, one of the most iconic and renowned military architecture landmarks within the Grand Harbour area. Its origins predate the arrival of the knights of St John, when it served as one of the Maltese islands’ three central castra during the middle ages.  Very little is actually left today of the original castrum maris, however, since the medieval fortress was heavily altered when it was dragged into the gunpowder era by the knights of St John in the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.   As a result, Fort St. Angelo’s iconic features are defined by the  four tiers of powerful gun batteries that were added to the structure by the Flemish military Engineer Don  Carlos de Grunenburg in the 1680s.  A brief history of Fort St Angelo was featured by Military  and can be read here


The ERDF project for the restoration and rehabilitation of Fort St Angelo continues to build on Heritage Malta’s earlier efforts to address the rehabilitation of this historic land mark and turn it into an important touristic and cultural destination.  Back in late 2010, Heritage Malta appointed a curator for the fort and began implementing emergency interventions to some areas requiring attention, including the dismantling of a swimming pool, erected during the time when the fort was being used as a hotel.  An article on the commencement of restoration works was featured on in 2011 and can be read here.

The core of the fort, comprising the inner and oldest part of the castle that was converted into a magisterial residence by the knights, is run by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and does not fall within the remits of the ERDF project. This part of Fort St Angelo, however, has already benefitted considerably from the efforts invested in its restoration and rehabilitation by the SMOM over the course of the past decade or so.

The restoration of Fort St Angelo is, undeniably, a happy and much awaited addition to the growing list of important works of fortification currently benefitting from European structural funding.   Together with the restoration of Valletta’s land front enceinte, Vittoriosa, Mdina, and the Gozo Cittadella, the restoration of Fort St Angelo is surely another step in the right direction of the revalorization of Malta’s military architecture heritage first set in motion by the Restoration Directorate in 2007.  Hopefully, soon, the list will be extended further by the commencement of yet another important project involving the restoration and rehabilitation of Fort St Elmo and the surrounding Carafa enceinte.

Together with the rehabilitation of the neighbouring fortifications of Vittoriosa, the restoration and reopening of Fort St Angelo should serve as an important means of generating economic activity in the Cottonera and Grand Harbour area.  With its breathtaking panoramic views, imposing architectural features, and fascinating history, Fort St Angelo has a great inherent tourism potential and should have no trouble in becoming one of the prime tourist venues in the Grand Harbour area.

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