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Report - - Re: Fort Madliena, Malta - August 2008 | European and International Sites |

Report - Re: Fort Madliena, Malta - August 2008

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too old to be reckless
28DL Full Member
Thought I'd catch up on a few old trips.

Fort Madliena was built in the 1870s to a fairly standard pentagonal design (looks very similar to some forts in the UK) and was designed for an active defence role covering the north west coast of Malta including the approaches to the harbour of Valleta. It has a low profile when viewed from the sea to make it all but invisible to approaching shipping. In the second world war it saw use as a radar station and had an additional section added on the seaward side of the battery to house 9.2 inch guns. After the war it became a NATO radar station and was finally abandoned by the british in the 1970s. The fort is now loaned by the Maltese Government to the St John Rescue Corps (linked to St John Ambulance organisation).

The fort is only open to the public on a saturday afternoon. I duly turned up on Saturday afternoon to find nobody around so I rang the bell on the fort doors. There was nobody to run the tour (and indeed no other intending tourers) so the Corps' quartermaster kindly offered to show me round. The Corps maintain the principal buildings on the site for their own use but the batteries are pretty overgrown (the QM kept apologising for the state and I had to keep saying that their fort was well maintained than some of the equivalent places in the uk).

Front entrance gates

Main courtyard

Offices looking out over the entrance

Standing on the site of one of the original seaward facing gun emplacements. The phone mast is on the site of the other gun emplacement

Looking across from the original fort to the WW2 extension


The WW2 extension is reached via this bridge

9.2 inch gun base (don't recall ever seeing one in situ before)

Not a great photo but an original sign pointing to the guns

Ammunition lift from the underground magazines

I believe this room housed the post war radar equipment (guessing from this maker's plate)