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“Best Museum in Malta”
Review of Fort Rinella

Fort Rinella
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US$25.59*
and up
Fort Rinella Tour from Luqa
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
Reviewed 6 July 2014

This is an interactive museum not just a walk around static exhibits (although there are some around the fort) and this makes it so much more interesting. You will need to spend most of the day to see it all. We arrived about 11am and left about 3.45 and then missed some and we were never bored at any time. We took the bus (no,3 I think ) from Valetta and I think the fort is the last stop- look for the flags at the entrance as this a low profile fortification not a Norman castle. Also the buses can be up to 15 mins early. There were various displays during the day given by the very enthusiastic and informative staff members-all in uniform of the period. You can get to shoot a Martini Henry rifle (as in Zulu) with blanks of course, for a donation of 5 euros and later a Napoleonic era cannon for 10 euros and where else can you do that and also see a 100 ton gun. You also get to handle swords, spears and armour for no cost. The price of admission is very reasonable for all that you get to see and do. Please make a donation for the upkeep of the horses if you can.

Thank Paul_Julian2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yulius888, Community Manager at FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Thank you very much Paul_Julian2014.
The horses will be really grateful for your appeal. Every single donation and purchase at our sites is going directly into the restoration of all of them, and also helping us to keep them alive, with guided tours, re-enactments, extraordinary pieces of History like the cannons, rifles, or friendly partners such as Perla, Curcu, Benny, Gamga, Marita, Sky and Apolo, our lovely horses.

Xulio Vazquez

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496 - 500 of 889 reviews

Reviewed 3 July 2014 via mobile

Went and saw the cavalry display and shot a cannon for 10 euros, saw the big pink cannon and musket display. The place is in good hands and has been incredibly improved. Guys doing the excursion are pleasantly enthusiastic about their job and everybody's very friendly. The whole experience is worth every sent of the price.
An advice for future visitors: take 5-25 euros cash with you for additional entertainment.
P.S. we tried the pastizzi, they were very good.

Thank Taavi134
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yulius888, Community Manager at FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Thank you Taavi134.
I could notice that you are based in Bugibba, so if you plan to come again to one of our sites, just ask at the entrance for the ''Friends of Wirt Artna'' card. It will give you a really good discount and you will be able to come for a whole year, as many times as you want.

Xulio Vazquez

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Reviewed 2 July 2014

This is a brilliant restoration of a site that was in decay some 12 years ago when I first saw it. A lot of hard work by mostly volunteers has gone into it and the pride the workers have in their result is palpable. There is much of interest to see and do and a small cafetria

Thank Mary C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yulius888, Community Manager at FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Thank you Mary C.
The Fort has changed a lot, with a lot of improvements, because of the hard work and effort of every volunteer and worker at Fort Rinella, and we will be improving even more. Hopefully one day, also with your help we will be having the Armstrong 100-ton gun once again in movement with the replica machinery in place.

Xulio Vazquez

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Reviewed 2 July 2014 via mobile

We went to Fort Rinella today and had a brilliant time! We arrived at quarter to 2, just in time to see the show start. The whole thing was brilliant!very informative and where else would you get the chance to fire a cannon or a genuine 18th century Martini Enfield rifle. We purchased the ticket to all four historical attractions and thoroughly enjoyed them all! Definitely a must while your in Malta!

1  Thank Apah2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yulius888, Community Manager at FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Thank you very much Apah2.
I don't know if you have reviewed the other attractions, but if you have some more time, it would be really useful for us, if we can borrow some ore of your time for doing so, as you had visited all of them. Sharing your experience on TripAdvisor, helps us to promote our sites and get more visitors, having more founds and moving a step forward into the entire restoration of them all.

Xulio Vazquez

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Reviewed 28 June 2014

As a lone woman traveller I thought I'd see what this was all about as the reviews were so good.

I wasn't disappointed.

There is so much going on throughout the day, sword, bayonet and signaling displays,firing of rifles and the most exciting part is the display of the horses and the firing of the cannons. You are able to touch the armour and the swords and can volunteer to fire a rifle or cannon.

There is a snack bar and the staff are very helpful.

All in all a very thrilling day out with lots to see and all the volunteers are so enthusiastic you cannot help but be enthralled.

Thank Valwheretogonext
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
yulius888, Community Manager at FWA at Fort Rinella, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2014

Thank you Valwheretogonext.
Every single worker and volunteer at the Fort is giving his best everyday, working really hard, bringing the History of Fort Rinella alive, in such a way that you can enjoy your visit with a hands on heritage experience, and not just roaming around.

Xulio Vazquez

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