Għallis Tower

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Għallis Tower
Torri tal-Għallis
Part of the De Redin towers
Salina, Naxxar, Malta
Malta Ghallis one.JPG
Għallis Tower viewed from the west
Coordinates 35°57′11.8″N 14°26′03.9″E / 35.953278°N 14.434417°E / 35.953278; 14.434417
Type Coastal watchtower
Height 12 m
Site information
Owner Government of Malta
Controlled by Din l-Art Ħelwa
Open to
the public
Yes (by appointment)
Condition Intact
Site history
Built 1658
Built by Order of Saint John
Materials Limestone

Għallis Tower (Maltese: Torri tal-Għallis), originally known as Torre delle Saline,[1] is a small watchtower in Salina, limits of Naxxar, Malta. It was completed in 1658 as the second of the De Redin towers. Today, the tower is in good condition.

History[edit]

Għallis Tower was built in 1658 on the eastern shore of Għallis Point (Maltese: Ras l-Għallis), commanding the entrance to Salina Bay along with Qawra Tower, one of the Lascaris towers. The tower was built on or near the site of a medieval watch post.[2] It follows the standard design of the De Redin towers, having a square plan with two floors and a turret on the roof. The external wall is made of upper coralline limestone which is weather resistant while the inner wall is made of the softer globogerina limestone. It originally had a garrison consisting of a bombardier and three gunners, who manned a three-pounder iron cannon.

During the British period, Għallis Tower was modified by opening a doorway at ground level and the insertion of roof slabs.

On 16 July 1955 Toninu Aquilina, 35, was found died in the well of the tower. It was a case of a murder.[3]

Present day[edit]

Plaque on the tower

By the 1990s, Għallis Tower was in a state of disrepair, with parts of its exterior being covered with plaster and cement, and many weeds growing around it. The interior was also damaged due to soot from the many fires lit inside the tower.

Din l-Art Ħelwa restored the tower between 1995 and 1996, and many stonework had to be replaced. Today, it is still under the control of Din l-Art Ħelwa and is in good condition.[4] It is open to the public by appointment.[5]

In 2015, an LED lighting system was installed at Għallis Tower. Since the tower is off Malta's electricity grid, the energy was provided by solar panels installed on the tower's roof.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Maltese) Ġrajjet Malta - It-Tielet Ktieb (4 ed.). Sliema: Department of Education. 2006. p. 81. 
  2. ^ Zammit, Vincent (1984). "Fortifications in the Middle Ages". Civilization. Ħamrun: PEG Ltd. 1: 33. 
  3. ^ http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20131103/life-features/Inquests-autopsies-and-exhumations-after-unnatural-death.493268
  4. ^ "Ghallis Tower, Salina". Din l-Art Ħelwa. 10 October 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Malta's coastal watch towers". MaltaUncovered.com. 4 December 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Ghallis Tower illuminated". Times of Malta. 17 January 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 

External links[edit]