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“Educational, well presented and staffed.”
Review of Fort Rinella

Fort Rinella
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$25.08*
and up
Fort Rinella Animated Tour
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Kalkara
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Fort Rinella in Kalkara,was built in 1878. This fort is not only a unique remnant of Malta's recent British colonial past, but it is also the world's first mechanical fort which enabled its small garrison to fire a monstrous 100-ton gun every six minutes. To be able to do this, the fort was equipped with a novel steam-driven hydraulic set-up that enabled the gun to traverse and depress and its ammunition to be hoisted and loaded mechanically. On visiting this fort in 1889, the great French writer Jules Verne described it as a marvel of the industrial age which would render Malta safe for ever. Some say that this is the place from where he got the idea of writing his famous novel a 'Voyage to the Moon', where a man is stuffed into a large projectile and fired from a large gun onto the moon!Originally, the 100-ton gun was built by Sir William George Armstrong of Newcastle in 1878, to equip a new class of Italian battleships - the Duilio class. This caused a serious stir between Britain and Italy which led to the former to obtain examples of the same gun to secure Malta and Gibraltar against a potential Italian seaborne attack.The Armstrong 100-ton gun has a calibre of 17.72-Inches (45cm). It is 35 feet long and has an overall weight of 156 tons making it the world's largest muzzle-loading cannon ever built. It used a quarter of a ton of gun powder to propel its monster shells up to a maximum range of eight miles. At that range it could pierce anything up to 21-inches of ship armour! The gun at Fort Rinella and another at Napier of Magdala Battery in Gibraltar are the sole surving examples today. The fort has recently undergone extensive restoration and improvement. A new 20-minute audio-visual outlining the history of the fort and its gun has also been added and is included in all guided tours.RE-Live History at Fort Rinella - Every afternoon from Monday to Saturday!Throughout the year, from Monday to Saturday at 14.00Hrs sharp, Fort Rinella is brought back to life complete with late 19th century Victorian soldiers who will take visitors on an animated tour around the fort. This tour combines excellent guiding with live and colourful historical re-enacting including military signalling, firing of rifles, bayonet practice, military cooking and more. Much use of original period equipment and weapons is made throughout this tour. All this goes to provide an enjoyable and long lasting experience to visitors.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Educational, well presented and staffed.”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

A british fort built in the 1880s, it is a curiosity as it was made as a platform for but one cannon- a truly massive 100ton gun. The fort itself is there to defend the gun from inland.
It is populated by a team of "guides" who are all accurately uniformed as Victorian artillerymen. These staff are fantastic in their helpfulness, knowledge and enthusiasm. There is a guided tour, explaining the building, it's purpose, history, and the life of the occupants. In addition they do a live demonstration of firing a genuine antique howitzer cannon, drilling and firing period rifles etc. They go to a lot of trouble to make sure every visitor gets well looked after, and goes away with a first rate and unique experience.
I gather that more investment is bearing fruit, and additional rooms with museum displays are soon to be adding to the site. The land at the front is also being developed, so there can be even more visitor facilities built.
The No 3 bus from Valetta terminus gets you there, and indeed that is the end of the line, so it's the same bus stop outside the fort to get back- can't be simpler. Even better is the water taxi accross Grand Harbour- and pick up the No3 outside the Malta at War musesum. Quicker and adds a perspective of the Harbour as a cheap boat trip to boot.
A highly reccomended museum, well maintained by enthusiastic people. Not to be missed (just don't go on Monday- as that't their closed day!)

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank greenknight010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yulius888, Custodian and guide of FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this review, January 17, 2013
Thank you greenknight010 for your explendid review and your vote
We are trying to do our bes, and having visitors like you, we will keep closer to our targe putting the gun again in movement.
It is a really good idea coming with the water taxi to Birgu after the firing of the Noon Day Gun Salute, previously visiting Lascaris War Rooms with the multisite ticket, stop at the Malta at War Museum, with a lot of uniforms, weapons, etc. about the IIWW and also the bomb shelter, and then come to the Fort at 2pm for the FULL ANIMATED TOUR with a lot of reenactments as you said.
We are working really hard for opening some new sections of Rinella, as the Baric Rooms with the Museum showing the public how the soldiers used to live, and outside, the visitors center, colonial garden, etc.
With your help, we are getting closer to tha
Thank you
Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and guide of FWA
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Lincoln, United Kingdom
1 review
“A wonderful day out”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We went to Fort Rinella yesterday because we took a wrong turn, which turned out to be very fortuitous (oh dear, no pun intended!). Everyone we met at the old British Fort was friendly, helpful, knowledgable and very enthusiastic, the uniformed (Victorian uniforms) volunteers gave us three "shows", an exhibition of muskets and rifles, with a chance to fire one; an exhibition of firing a unique cannon (and my husband got to fire that) and lastly an exhibition of Victorian soldiers drilling - it was brilliant. The largest gun in the world is awe inspiring - we didin't see that being fired, apparently that happens in May. We were there for about three and a half hours (maybe four) and it cold, but the time flew, I would recommend this experience to anyone.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Lesley L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yulius888, Custodian and guide of FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this review, January 17, 2013
Thank you Lesley L.
It is a pleasure having so enthusiastic visitors.
As I always say we are part volunteers and part employees but all of us are involved in the conservation and keeping alive a part of the maltese heritage.
The gun will be fired this year the proper day, the 5th of May, Sunday. That was the last day it had been fired, and this year we are coming with a lot of surprises for that weekend and also some more events the whole year.
You can search on our website, Facebook, Twitter and other Social Networks we have available for publishing all the news and events we will have.
I hope you'll find time for coming to see us again or the other sites of FWA
Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and guide of FWA
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Axminster
2 reviews
“Recommend this day out near Valetta.”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Truly enthusiastic volunteers provided excellent demonstrations and a tour of this napoleonic fort. It's well worth the bus journey. Snacks and cold drinks available at the entrance were welcome at this slightly isolated location. Its definitely worth timing your visit to include the rifle and howitzer firing at 2pm especially if you (or the kids) want to make a big bang. The volunteers have ambitions to reconstruct the steam and hydraulic systems used to serve ammunition to the 100 ton gun housed in this fort - a long, expensive and difficult task which I wish them every success with. I have no doubt their enthusiasm and dedication (we saw them later drumming up support in Valetta) will see them achieve this goal as well as their other works to preserve the fort.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yulius888, Custodian and Guide at FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Thank you so much Steve S for your review, vote and support about our goal, that is reconstructing the machinery and put the gun in movement again, providing a better experience for the tourists everyday.
We are half volunteers and half workers at the FWA, and all of us are involved for getting our target.
I hope, next time you'll come to Malta, you will be able to visit us again and also our other sites, really interesting too.
Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and Guide at FWA
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“you get a lot of bang for your bucks”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

The No 3 bus from Valletta gets you there. pick up the bus on return at the same bus stop as it turns here. The boys are so enthusiastic it make this attraction a bit more personal. Still a work in progress but well worth a visit. You can get off the bus at Birgu on the way back and take in all the fortifications you will need. The ferry back to Valletta is an option E1.50. The landing is a 3/4 way down the creek from it's entrance. You can also pick it up across the creek in Isla almost opposite .Just wave when you see it leaving Birgu and the guy will pick you up. In Valletta you land across the road from the Barracca lift.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank WFDScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yulius888, Custodian and Guide at FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this review, January 15, 2013
Thank you so much WFDScotland for your vote and review.
Coming with the ferry to Fort Rinella is a good experience because you can see from another point of view the Grand Harbour and also stop at Birgu first and see the Malta at War Museum after the Noon Day Gun Salute at Saluting Battery, then go with the ferry to Malta at War, and at 2 pm be at Rinella for the animated tour.
And thanks for saying that we are enthusiastic, and of course we are trying to provide each visitor a personal and amazing experience, that you can only have at Fort Rinella
Regards
Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and Guide at FWA
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palma de Mallorca, Islas Baleares, Spain
1 review
“Fort Rinella tour guide”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

Honestly it was my best guided trip ever had.Got so much information about the fort and about arms and besides thanks for the "soldiers" the hole show was really entertaining.
I recommend to everyone visiting Fort Rinella in Malta.The tour starts around 2pm.
Thanks guys.
Andras

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank balagancsik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
yulius888, Custodian and guide of the FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this review, December 13, 2012
Thank so much for your review and vote balagancsik.
We are very proud that you had enjoyed your visit because everyday we are trying to do something different and also improving what we are doing at the Fort.
Don't forget we are here, and if you come again to Malta, visit us again or other of our sites wich are really interesting aswell.

Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and guide of the FWA
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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