Qala’s St Anthony’s Battery restoration almost complete
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St. Anthony’s Battery, known locally as it-Trunciera is being restored by the Qala Local Council with the help of MEPA and Din l-Art Helwa. St Anthony’s Battery is an early 18th century military outpost designed to serve as a gun battery for the defence of the coast and the channel between Gozo and Comino. It was built during the reign of Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena and was probably designed by the French military engineer Charles Francois Mondion in 1731/2. The Battery retains its original relationship with the surrounding landscape and seascape as these have remained practically unchanged since 1731.
The restoration began about two and a half ago and is estimated so far to have cost around a hundred thousand euros. Parliamentary Secretary Chris Said and Qala Mayor, Paul Buttigieg, visited the site where the work now is almost complete.
St. Anthony’s Battery is regarded as a National Heritage in architecture which is somewhat unique to the islands. The work was originally designed with a semi-circular gun platform and two blockhouses at the rear, however, it was eventually built with a semi-hexagonal front. Consequently the landward defences incorporated a free-standing redan trace with thick walls and numerous musketry loopholes, which were shielded by two flanking traverses. The land front itself was protected by a shallow ditch.
A solid blockhouse with battered walls occupied the centre of the enclosure. In 1770, St. Anthony’s Battery had an armament of three 8-pdr guns with 427 rounds of roundshot and 75 rounds of grapeshot; and eight 6-pdr guns with 127 rounds of roundshot and 45 rounds of grapeshot.