Malta’s rich history is renowned across the globe.

  • Valletta, Birgu, Mdina and Victoria in Gozo

    Location

    Valletta, Birgu, Mdina and Victoria in Gozo

  • European Regional and Development Funds

    Fund

    European Regional and Development Funds

  • Promoting sustainable tourism

    Programme

    Promoting sustainable tourism

  • €40,354,949

    Cost of Project

    €40,354,949

  • €32,283,959

    Total EU Allocation

    €32,283,959

Malta’s landscape is dominated by massive and majestic bastions which were built throughout centuries by the Knights of St John to protect the island from unwelcome visitors.

Its capital, Valletta and its predecessor, Mdina, are UNESCO world heritage sites and serve as the major attraction to millions of visitors while spending a few days of vacation on the island.

Malta’s fortifications are an object of pride and identity to the Maltese islands and its inhabitants, however their proximity to the sea has exposed them to decades of inclement weather and corrosive natural elements. Due to this they were in dire need of restoration and rehabilitation, which would bestow their former glory and re-establish them as an object of pride and national identity to the Maltese islands and its inhabitants.

This massive project could not be done without the investment of tens of millions of EU Cohesion funds, which were used to obtain the necessary knowhow and resources in order to breathe life back into an important part of Malta’s history.

This ongoing project focused on the rehabilitation of the fortifications of Valletta, Birgu in Cottonera – sitting in the majestic Grand Harbour – and the all-round bastions which surround the walled cities of Mdina and the Ċittadella – the island’s old medieval cities.

This was not a case of just a general clean up. This project included the scraping of kilometres of bastions, many meters wide and tall, the removal of years of uncontrolled vegetation which crept through their thick old walls and the changing of long stretches of stonework, which in some areas, had led to serious collapses, putting in danger the stability of the same fortifications.

In the case of Mdina, where the walls were built on unstable terrain, mostly clay, a specialised operation was needed to strengthen the soundness of the same bastions which was even creating a possible total collapse of the historic palazzos built on top.

New pillars were built in order to strengthen the grounds on which the bastions stand, using modern technology and specialised engineered interventions.

The project also included the transformation of parts of the same fortifications to ensure a more functional use, turning them into a new tourism product in themselves.

For example, in the case of Gozo’s Ċitadella, a massive old cistern underneath the bastions was converted into a state-of-the-art visitors’ centre attracting hundreds of thousands of sightseers every year.

In Mdina, a ditch which separates the bastions from the adjacent town, Rabat, was turned into an attractive recreational area, which today has become a playground in a spectacular setting.

Through EU funds, Malta’s history has started to shine once again, giving it a new lease of life while tourism flourished.

www.restoration.gov.mt

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