Fort Saint MichaelEdit profile
Fort St Michael was a fortification on the island of Malta. A fort of that name was built by the Knights of Malta between 1551 and 1565 on the peninsula then known as Isla St Michael formed by Dockyard Creek and French Creek in Grand Harbour. This area is still known as L-Isla, but is now occupied by the fortified city of Senglea. The original fort on this site was begun in 1551, initially under the patronage of Grand Master Juan de Homedes y Coscon, to a design by the Military engineer Pedro Pardo d’Andrera, and extended to a fortified city by Grand Master Claude de la Sengle during the Knights' preparations for the Siege of Malta. Fort St Michael was one of three forts defending the Knights stronghold in Grand Harbour during the siege, along with Fort St Elmo and Fort St Angelo. Fort St Elmo fell, but Fort St Michael withstood the siege, though massively damaged, the scene of some of the most desperate fighting of the siege. It withstood 10 assaults from the Ottoman Turkish attackers. The rebuilding and development of the fortified city of Senglea after the siege continuing until 1581.The name Fort St Michael became associated with the landward bastion of Senglea, also known as the St Michael Battery, or the St. Michael's cavalier. This was largely dismantled during extensions to the dockyard area at the end of the 19th century and construction of a new primary school in the 1920s. The remainder was badly damaged by aerial bombing during the second world war. After the war the ruins were dismantled and the site made into a public garden. The impressive seaward bastions of Senglea remain however, heir to Fort St Michael's original site and purpose, as does the Senglea Main Gate, which has recently been restored, after the post war reconstruction collapsed in the late 1960s due to heavy rainfall.