The restoration of various important heritage sites within Tigné Point and Manoel Island is an on-going process and to-date more than €20 million has been invested in the restoration of St George’s Chapel and the majestic Fort Manoel.
The general public will have the opportunity to once again see and experience the restoration of this unique historical and architectural gem during an Open Weekend on Saturday and Sunday 8th and 9th April 2017 (Saturday 9.30am–5.30pm & Sunday 9.00am–6.00pm).
An extensive program of various entertainment, recreational and cultural events and activities aimed at the whole family is being put together. This will include historical re-enactments, tours, lectures by various experts and exhibitions in various halls within the Fort. Anyone attending the Open Weekend is invited to bring along any kind of memorabilia, related to Manoel Island, especially in connection to the period when the British Forces occupied the Fort during WWII.
MIDI CEO Mr Luke Coppini said “This is the second time that the company is opening up Fort Manoel to the public, when thousands flocked to see the Fort restored to its original state. The next phase will see the restoration of the vast bastion walls and ditch surrounding the Fort, which will bring this unique landmark heritage monument to its original glory”.
Fort Manoel was built between 1723 and 1733 by the Knights of St John under the patronage of Portuguese Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena. It is considered a marvel of 18th century military engineering designed to house up to 500 soldiers. The recently restored quadrangle is majestic in the space it offers as are the parade ground and arcade. During World War II, Manoel Island and its Fort were used as a naval submarine base by the Royal Navy at which time it was referred to variously as "HMS Talbot" or "HMS Phoenicia". The British who took it over in 1800, used it as a naval base including during WWII when it was severely bombed. Following the departure of the British the Fort was left in a state of neglect for many years.
Holy Mass will be celebrated in the beautifully restored Chapel of St Anthony on Sunday at 12.15 pm. Entrance is free and for those coming by car parking will be available once on Manoel Island. A park and ride shuttle service is also being organised right up to the Couvre Port.