Fort Rinella Malta - The Best Mobile Map and Guide Tool if you visit Malta!

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A general photo of Fort Rinella
Fort Rinella

The Suez Canal was opened in 1869, resulting in a shorter route to India. In 1873 the Italians built the warships Duilo and Dandolo with 55 cm thick steel armour and four 100 tons Armstrong guns per ship.

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To secure the shorter route and to give it weight to the warships, 100-ton Armstrong guns were placed on Malta and Gibraltar. This also directly protected Malta and Gibraltar.

Because there was insufficient cover for Malta to protect the route, the British installed a cannon in the previously built Fort Rinella.

The Fort was built between 1878 and 1886 in a strategic location between Fort Ricasoli and Fort St. Rocco.

The Fortress is simple and intended to be defended with grenades and small arms. Secondary reinforcement is missing.

The 100-ton Armstrong cannon is an impressive size and, along with the 2,000-pound grenades as well as the 450-pound powder load, makes it a considerable weight.

To ensure that the gun could be fired every 6 minutes, a hydraulic system was used to aim the gun and to lift the shells.

To keep the hydraulic system under control and to load and operate the gun, 40 soldiers were needed.

The cannon has a range of 5.5 km and is very precise.

However, the price for firing the cannon was somewhat on the high side. One shot can be compared to the daily wage of 2500 soldiers, as a result of which practice was limited to one shot every three months.

The cannon was last fired in 1905.

In the Second World War the navy used the fort for storage and after 1965 the Fort was no longer used.

In 1991 the fort was transferred to the trust organization Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna and opened in 1996 as a museum.

There are only two 100-ton Armstrong guns in the world and one of them is in Fort Rinella. You can also get a tour by a guide dressed as a nineteenth century British soldier. In addition to viewing the display cases, you will receive information about the history of guns, and you can also shoot one.

A team of volunteers are committed to getting the cannon working again. For example, a replica of the main elements of the hydraulic system was recently made, which was removed after the gun was disabled. Shooting of the gun with gunpowder is also demonstrated once a year.

There is also an audio guide in various languages.

Additional Online information

Look for opening times, entrance fee and location in our free app or for checking the original website of the spot.

Additional information

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