Our first look is at the remarkable restoration project being undertaken on the harbor island of Manoel. Fort Manoel was built by the Knights of St. John in 1723 and is at present being restored by MIDI plc. as part of a 30 million euro restoration project.Situated on Manoel Island,the fort was constructed on what was a quarantine hospital origionally built by Grandmaster Jean Paul Lascaris, of the Knights of Malta, in the year 1643; in a effort to contain outbreaks of cohlera and the dreaded plague, brought to the island by visiting ships. My present wife, Rosaria, who is a native of the district, recalls visiting the site in the late 60�s and despite the occupation of the British Navy during World War II, she recalls still seeing the remains of the rusting beds in the tunnels behind the fort.In the year 1726, the Portuguese Grand Master Anto�nio Manoel de Vilhene, of the Knights of Malta funded and constructed the Fort as it still stands today.It is recorded that at one time the Knights considered constructing a walled city like Valletta across the harbour, but instead built Fort Manoel, what is now considered an outstanding example of 18th century engineering, with its parade ground,exquisite quadrangle, and arcade capable of housing some 500 soldiers. One of the remaining features is the baroque chapel dedicated to St. Anthony of Padus, and being carefully reconstructed to day, following its near complete distruction by the German Luftwaffe bombers in 1942!
I hope you enjoy my photographic excursion and that these images will forever remain as a record of the outstanding work being carried out by the present developers.