Birzebbuga Fort San Lucian
Leave your feedback

Video ID: 529

Submitting Feedback

The fortress protecting Malta for over 400 years


St Lucian Tower in Birzebbuga is the second largest watchtower in Malta.

It is one of six Wignacourt towers built in Malta by the Knights between 1610 and 1620.

Only four survive: Wignacourt Tower in St Paul’s Bay, St Thomas Tower in Marsascala, St Mary’s Tower on Comino and St Lucian Tower.

The fort was built in stages above Marsaxlokk Bay to protect the surrounding area against invasion.

St Lucian Tower was in use in between 1610 and 1885, and witnessed an attack on Malta by the Ottoman Empire in 1614, the French invasion in 1798, and the two-year Siege of Malta which ended in 1800.

The tower was originally armed with six large bronze cannons, ammunition and other armaments.

It was decommissioned in 1885, but was used as an RAF depot from 1945 to 1964.

Nuclear weapons were reportedly stored at Fort San Lucian during the Cold War, when Vulcans based at RAF Luqa were the backbone of Britain’s airborne nuclear deterrent.

The historic fort was handed to the Government of Malta in 1964. Our archive film footage shows the fort in the early 1970s.

More places from Birzebbuga

A look back at the Malta gas plant at Qajjenza
This interesting film from our archives shows busy workers at the gas bottling p...
The fortress protecting Malta for over 400 years
Birzebbuga Fort San Lucian
St Lucian Tower in Birzebbuga is the second largest watchtower in Malta. It is o...

Places Nearby

The rise and fall of Malta’s once mighty naval shipyards
Cospicua malta dockyard
Malta has been a centre for shipbuilding and ship repairs for hundreds of years,...
End of an era: The moment the British forces left Malta
Vittoriosa Dom Mintoff Freedom Day
Malta, once Britain’s most important air and naval base in the Mediterrane...
Digging deep to uncover Malta’s ancient history
This archive footage from 1966 shows archeologists exploring one of Malta’...
All set for take off? A look back at Malta’s former air terminal
Luqa Dom Mintoff air malta
Malta International Airport is the only airport in Malta and occupies the locati...
Restoration of Tarxien Parish Church
The parish church of Tarxien was built in 1595 and is dedicated to the Annunciat...
Cleaning up Malta more than 60 years ago
Malta clean up malta
Campaigns to make Malta green and clean are nothing new. Communities across the ...
Malta’s Blue Grotto has always been a crowd-puller
Zurrieq Joe Dimech Blue Grotto
People have been flocking to the Blue Grotto for decades to see the spectacular ...
The Vulcan plane crash that devastated Zabbar
Zabbar Vincenza Zammit RAF Luqa Vulcan
This is the shocking aftermath of one of the worst aviation disasters in Malta&#...
Remembering schooldays in Malta in the 1950s and 1960s
Qrendi school
We all have strong memories of our first few days at primary school in Malta, al...
How Maltese workers are among the luckiest in Europe
Msida General Workers Union
Maltese workers are the luckiest in Europe when it comes to holidays. Malta is...
Malta’s Silent City of Mdina over the years
The charming walled city of Mdina, perched high on a hilltop, at the highest poi...
How Father Christmas arrived in Malta in the 1960s
Luqa Father Christmas christmas in malta
Christmas is a highly celebrated festivity in Malta and Gozo, both for its relig...