A group of over twenty members and guests braved the hot weather and grabbed the opportunity to visit Fort Ricasoli this morning. This was another visit to a publicly-inaccessible historic site facilitated by the AMACS Historic Site Visits team.

The group was guided through a comprehensive 2-hour visit by Alan Cassar from the Malta Film Commission. Whilst the fort is in a bad state of repair, we were still able to look around and obtained access to many areas which are normally out of bounds. We were also shown round the old vaults which still house many original props from various major films that have been shot on location at the fort. The visit presented lots of photo opportunities as there are many breathtaking views of Grand Harbour from Ricasoli as the fort is situated at the main entrance to the harbour, overlooking the breakwater.

Built by the Order of St.John between 1670 and 1698 on a promontory known as ‘Gallows’ Point’, commanding the entrance to the Grand Harbour, Ricasoli is the largest fort in Malta. Mostly intact, it is now used as a filming location. Plans to restore the fort were approved in June so if restoration work commences in the near future this may be the last time anyone can visit for a considerable time.

We are indebted to Julian Guillaumier and Alan Cassar of the Malta Film Commission for arranging the visit and to Alan for giving up his precious time on a Sunday to show us round.

The Malta Film Commission is responsible for productions filmed in Malta. Since 2013 it has attracted over fifty productions which contributed over €200m to Malta’s economy. Many famous films and series were shot at the fort. In fact, shooting at the studio’s water tanks starts tomorrow on the second season of ‘Das Boot‘.

Restoration work starts on the fort at the end of the year following a major commitment to the work in June this year and although it is a huge project it is hoped to restore the fort to its former glory. It will almost certainly take a number of years to do so.


Gary Ashton

AMACS Historical Tours Organiser