As many locals and travellers alike know, the Maltese Islands are certainly not lacking in fortifications, particularly those guarding our harbour areas. In fact, many of these now historic forts, such as the Ferretti Battery in the town of Birzebbuga, date back to the time of the Order of the Knights of St John, where they acted as an important means to protect our lovely island.
Tony Buttigieg via Malta taghna w tal imghoddi / Facebook
The Ferretti Battery, which was built between 1715 and 1716, was named after its generous benefactor Fra Francesco Maria Ferretti, who donated over 900 of his own well-earned scudi for its conception. If you’re wondering, that’s around €216!
Interestingly, this fortress was actually part of a larger construction project. The Ferretti battery was part of a set of many structures, built to protect the bays of Birzebbuga and Marsaxlokk, the famous fishing village in the southern Maltese region. It was one of the first structures ever designed and built with the intention to set an attack on vessels invading the Maltese shores.
Obviously, the battery no longer serves its original purpose, and since the 19th century it has instead acted as a summer residence and even a boathouse. Today, the fortress is open for the public to enjoy, and has actually been converted to a restaurant, bearing the original Ferretti name.
One may suggest that even after 300 years, the battery continues to serve the people in more ways than one!