Wignacourt Tower is a bastioned watchtower in St. Paul's Bay, Malta. It was the first of six Wignacourt towers to be built, and it was completed in 1610. An artillery battery was added a century later in 1715. Today the tower is a museum.

By the end of the 16th century, Malta's harbour area was extensively fortified. However, the rest of the islands was virtually undefended, and the coastline was open to attacks by Ottomans or Barbary corsairs. This began to change in the early 17th century, when Martin Garzez, Grand Master of the Order of Saint John, allocated funds for the building of Garzes Tower on Gozo. Garzes' successor, Alof de Wignacourt, set out to build a series of towers around the coastline, which were personally funded by him and came to be known as the Wignacourt towers.

The tower was the only major fortification in the north of Malta until the construction of Saint Agatha's Tower in 1649. It had Qawra Tower (built 1638), Buġibba Battery (built 1715) and Mistra Battery (built 1761) in its line of sight.

A coastal battery was added to the tower in 1715 to house two 18-pounder guns. Buttressing was added to the lower half of the structure in around 1761.

After Malta fell under British rule, the tower began to be used as a police station. A postal agency was located within the police station between 1891 and 1921, and during this period a postmark reading 'St. Paul's Bay' was used. The police station closed in 1931, and from 1937 to 1963 the tower was occupied by the Post and Telephone Department.

The tower's original entrance was on the first floor, and it was approached by a drawbridge from a flight of stone steps. The steps were removed in the 1950s when the road in front of the tower was widened. An entrance was added on the ground floor.



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Founded: 1610
Category: Castles and fortifications in Malta

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User Reviews

Thomas Welsh (3 years ago)
Great viewing from the outside seating area. Interesting history on the inside. Go up the stairs and the viewing is ourstanding.
Lisa Galea (3 years ago)
Lovely and very interesting story about the tower. Lovely view from the top too. Worth checking it out and having a look
Boris Nikolovski (3 years ago)
A set of high rock cliffs offers excellent views of the surrounding coastal area! The tower has a beautiful and large terrace with benches for relaxing and enjoying the beautiful view. The terrace also represents a nice place where various performances of local performers are held. The historical significance of the tower certainly represents an additional reason not to bypass, if you are nearby.
Mario Ellul (3 years ago)
My favourite place Sunday afternoon. This tower is located nearby the sea, having fab views of the sea. Also, i would suggest to have a coffee or cappuccino from the cafeteria which is right beside this tower, as the prices and service are excellent. Parking may be an issue. Enjoy
Rebecca Keeling (3 years ago)
This is a stunning place rich in history. I don't think it would be that great for really young children or the elderly as the steel spiral staircase that leads up to the living area is a doozy! Then there a steps leading up again to the roof, from where the views (right across to st. Paul's island) are simply stunning. Well worth the €2 an adult, children are free, for the views alone. Best to go fairly early, before it gets too hot, as they close at 1pm.
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