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“Outstanding - It really is a fantastic afternoon out and informative too.”
Review of Fort Rinella

Fort Rinella
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$25.16*
and up
Fort Rinella Tour from Luqa
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Kalkara
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Fort Rinella is a refurbished Victorian coastal defence fort, home to a massive gun which was a wonder of its time. The fort - its infrastructure and the huge gun are fascinating things in their own right. However the real draw is the team of enthusiasts who "man" the fort.

The small team put on demonstrations of Victorian era Maltese / British Militaria. The afternoon we visited there was a demonstration of Mounted Infantry - the team have authentic victorian uniforms of the Maltese Artillery and put on a fantastic show of mounted "tent pegging" with lances and swords. A real spectacle - handsome argentinian polo horses are used and they seem to enjoy being ridden in the displays. Following this there was firing of a Victorian Howitzer. All this accompanied by a friendly ammusing and very informative commentary on the military aspects being displayed.

What shines through is the passion the guys have for the subject - this isn't some bunch of guys on minimum wage going through the motions - these guys live and breathe the subject and this makes it a wonderfull experience as they tour you around the fort and show you the massive gun. The commentary is historically spot on and delivered with a verve and passion. My fiance, usually half asleep on visits to Military Attractions was enthralled - a great testament to the teams entertaining and friendly displays and talks..

There is a loveley little canteen for refreshments on site.

I could type on for hours about how good the visit was - go and see it for yourselves - it really is as good as everyone says ! Everyone who is involved with Fort Rinella should be congratulated on the wonderfull attraction they have created, the enthralling displays they put on and for the historical herritage they keep alive.

Thank Me_n_my_rucksack
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 reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Thank you very much Me_n_my_rucksack for your fantastic review and voting.
We do believe in this and we love History as well, and recreating History is always more enjoyable than only reading it, for the tourists to see and for us as well. For that reason we are enthusiastic about the things we do in all of our sites even if we are from different countries, not only maltese involved in this proyects.
We are glad you have enjoyed your visit and your fiance as well.

Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and guide of the FWA

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751 - 755 of 958 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2013

excellent value for money,get the chance to fire a martini henry rifle,and the victorian 8" howitzer,not forgetting the Armstrong 100- ton gun

Thank Billy K
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 reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Thank you Billy K for your comment and vote.Really apreciated.

Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and guide of the FWA

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Reviewed June 24, 2013

Having just returned from a holiday in Malta ,I just had to write this review on the Rinella Barracks.
From arriving at the Fort at 11am until leaving at 5pm , my Wife and I were kept fully occupied by the volunteer staff at this attraction. Dressed in 19th. century soldiers uniforms they kept us entertained with demonstrations of Signalling,sword fighting,Cavalry charges with lances and demonstrations of firearms includind the firing of the worlds last muzzle loading howitzer which I had the honour of firing (albeit with a small charge).
My wife wasn`t too keen on going,expecting it to be boring ,but she was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed the day.
Also on display was the 100 ton gun ,also a muzzle loaded piece.
The `Army` of volunteers are working to get this gun and its machinery back into full working order.
You are free to wander around the Fort and explore all areas , giving you a real feel of what conditions were like in the 19th. century.
All in all ,one of the real highlights of our visit to the Island

Thank Sam R
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 reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Thank you Sam R.
Really good to know you've spent 4 hours with us and you have enjoyed your experience at Fort Rinella.If you think about coming again to Malta, come and visit us again or another of our sites.

Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and guide of the FWA

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

The enthusiasm and passion that goes in to such dedicated detail by this team of young volunteers re ennacting the history of the Fort is contagious and I felt quite humbled by the knowledge that was delivered in my native British tongue so precisely. My husband and I spent an afternoon with a dozen other tourists and were thoroughly entertained whilst learning more about our connections with this lovely island. We witnessed displays with muskets, Canon's and horses which were delivered with both pride and humour in equal measure whilst encouraging the party to get involved in some of the demonstrations. There are light refreshments, drinks ice creams, cake.A great couple of hours for all ages( although very small children might be alarmed by the bangs), they rely on funding and donations from the public. Bravo, and we are sure that with the continued attitude this will build to be the very major attraction that it is planned to be. An excellent twenty euros worth!

Thank Claire M
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 reviewResponded August 21, 2013

Thank you Claire M
We are always trying to do it interesting, in the books you can only read History and maybe can be boring for some people, here we are bringing History alive everyday.
Thank you for your wishes.

Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and guide of the FWA

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Loved it myself and my partner visited here in April and thoroughly enjoyed our time here after being optimistic about going I'm glad I did because I loved it. For all you ladies which think is it your thing just give it a try we found the day very interesting and staff were very passionate about what they do. Was one of the best activities that we went to my partner fired a rifle and myself a canon wow amazing would recommend this to anyone and would come back again thanks for giving me such a fun experience.

Thank Charmaine M
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 reviewResponded August 21, 2013

Thank you Charmaine M.
That is the reason we are here, try to give a good and detailed experience as much as possible for the people interested in this stuff, but also try to conquer and give a really good and different experience as well for those not interested in this.

Xulio Vazquez
Custodian and guide of the FWA

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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