Qawra Tower

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For the tower on Gozo, see Dwejra Tower.
Qawra Tower & Battery
Torri u Batterija tal-Qawra
Part of the Lascaris towers
Qawra, St. Paul's Bay, Malta
Malta - St. Paul's Bay - Triq it-Trunciera - Ras il-Qawra - Qawra Tower 04 ies.jpg
Qawra Tower
Coordinates 35°57′33.17″N 14°25′28.71″E / 35.9592139°N 14.4246417°E / 35.9592139; 14.4246417
Type Coastal watchtower
Artillery battery
Height 11 m
Site information
Owner Government of Malta
Controlled by Ta' Fra Ben Restaurant & Lounge Bar
Open to
the public
Yes (as a restaurant)
Condition Intact
Site history
Built 1638 (tower)
1715 (battery)
Built by Order of Saint John
Materials Limestone

Qawra Tower (Maltese: Torri tal-Qawra), also known as Qawra Point Tower (Maltese: Torri ta' Ras il-Qawra) or Fra Ben Tower (Maltese: Torri ta' Fra Ben), is a small watchtower in Qawra, limits of St. Paul's Bay, Malta. It was completed in 1638 as the fourth of the Lascaris towers. An artillery battery was built around the tower in 1715. Today, the tower and battery are a restaurant.

History[edit]

Qawra Tower was built in 1638 near the tip of Qawra Point, commanding the entrance to St. Paul's Bay to the west and Salina Bay to the east. It was built on or near the site of a medieval watch post.[1] Since 1659, it has Għallis Tower in its line of sight. This linked Qawra Tower with the De Redin towers that allowed communication from Gozo to Valletta.

The tower's design is similar to the other Lascaris towers, with two floors each having a single room. Access to the upper floor was originally by a wooden ladder or scala di corda.

In 1715, a semi-circular gun battery was built around the seaward side of the tower. The battery had a low parapet, with guns being mounted en barbette. There were two blockhouses, which were linked by a V-shaped redan containing the main gate. Both the blockhouses and the redan were pierced with musketry loopholes.

An entrenchment wall was built close to the tower and battery in the 1760s, and parts of it can still be seen.

The tower was included on the Antiquities List of 1925.[2]

Before World War II, the battery was fitted with two concrete gun emplacements. A pillbox was also built nearby.[3]

Present day[edit]

One of the blockhouses and the redan, which now serve as the entrance to the restaurant

Today, the tower is a restaurant, while the heavily altered battery serves as a swimming pool. The tower is slightly dilapidated, having been plastered with cement at some time, which is now flaking away, and has had water tanks and rough additional brickwork added to its roof.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zammit, Vincent (1984). "Fortifications in the Middle Ages". Civilization. Ħamrun: PEG Ltd. 1: 33. 
  2. ^ "Protection of Antiquities Regulations 21st November, 1932 Government Notice 402 of 1932, as Amended by Government Notices 127 of 1935 and 338 of 1939.". Malta Environment and Planning Authority. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Qawra Coast Development Brief" (PDF). MEPA. May 2007. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 

External links[edit]