Saint Thomas Tower

Marsaskala, Malta

Saint Thomas Tower is a large bastioned watchtower in Marsaskala. It was built above the shore on the seaward face of the headland of il-Hamriga in Marsaskala. It is a substantial fortification intended to prevent the landing of troops in the sheltered anchorages of Marsaskala Creek and St Thomas Bay. Construction of the tower was approved in July 1614, weeks after the raid of Żejtun, in which an Ottoman fleet managed to land at St Thomas Bay. The tower was named after a chapel dedicated to St Thomas which stood close to where the tower now lies.

The tower has very thick walls and has four pentagonal bastioned turrets projecting outwards on each corner. The tower's entrance was through a vaulted doorway with a wooden drawbridge. The drawbridge is still partially intact and it is the only original one to have survived in Malta. The tower is surrounded by a rock-hewn ditch.

After the De Redin towers were built, St Thomas had Żonqor and Xrobb l-Għaġin Towers in its line of sight, but these are now either in ruins or completely demolished.

In 1715, St Thomas Tower was reinforced by the addition of a battery on the seaward face. During the French blockade of 1798–1800, the tower was stormed and captured by Maltese insurgents.

The tower remained in use by the British until the 19th century. At some point, the tower was also used as a prison.



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Torri, Marsaskala, Malta
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Founded: 1614
Category: Castles and fortifications in Malta

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3.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

estavan zammit (3 years ago)
Never been inside however the abandoned hotel has a good view of the sea and some impressive graffiti
Steve Zammit (3 years ago)
The tower wad constructed by the order of st John mainly to offer protection to the peasants from the pirates, so they could feel safe while working the fields that surrounded the area, due that the location is found beside the shoreline, it was quite easy to get abducted by pirates and sold as a slave somewhere else abroad. So since the knights owned the land, they came wirh the brilliant idea to guard the area 24/7 so people would find the courage to rent the fields and work in them .
Mario Micallef (4 years ago)
Very nice and interesting place. Pity not open to public.
Jason Collins (4 years ago)
Need tidying. Historic look but rundown
Martin Rantzau (4 years ago)
Old, impressing building surrounded by condemned? hotel? Seems not to be accessible for further experiences.
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