New & now
Down the rabbit hole! Explorer ventures into St John’s Bastion’s secret tunnel
What a throwback!

Kim Vella

Facebook page The Curious Explorer - Revealing Malta’ recently posted a collection of photos from its latest venture, and they’re sure to take you back in time...   

The collection of photos reveals a lengthy tunnel dug into the rock of St.John's (Abercrombie) Bastion which is believed to date back to the 19th century.   

As the caption reads, this secret tunnel, “was possibly constructed as a counterscarp (defence) gallery which leads to Fort St.Elmo's ditch and contains one casemated gun emplacement. 

The St. John Bastion was built in the mid 1560’s to protect the main gate of what would become the capital city of Valletta. The massive limestone walls overlook the neighbouring town of Floriana.  

The structure’s design was in the hands of well-renowned architect Francesco Laparelli da Cortona. 

The photos show off carvings from inside the tunnel which read, RE, standing for Royal Engineers.  

St. Elmo

Another photo captured a shaft which one commentator said might lead to the “terra plain of the fort. 

St. Elmo  

Have you ever explored this tunnel?  

3rd February 2022


Kim Vella
Written by
Kim Vella
A highly curious explorer always looking to find her next adventure. Kim loves sharing her experiences and what's happening on the Maltese Islands. When not writing, you’ll probably find her playing around with some clay or somewhere surrounded by trees. She's always up for listening to people's stories about anything to do with nature, a passion project or issue you feel needs tending to.

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