Balbani Battery

Balbani Battery (Maltese: Batterija ta' Balbani), also known as Bengħisa Battery (Maltese: Batterija ta' Bengħisa) or Saint Catherine's Battery (Maltese: Batterija ta' Santa Katarina),[1] was an artillery battery in Birżebbuġa, Malta. It was built by the Order of Saint John on commands by Grand Master Manuel Pinto da Fonseca and it was completed in 1721.[2] The battery was named for Cristoforo Balbani, who partially financed its construction.[3] It was one of a series of coastal fortifications around the Maltese Islands.[4]

Balbani Battery
Batterija ta' Balbani
Birżebbuġa, Malta
Coordinates35°48′58.2″N 14°32′21.4″E / 35.816167°N 14.539278°E / 35.816167; 14.539278
TypeArtillery battery
Site history
Built byOrder of Saint John

Balbani Battery was part of a chain of fortifications that defended Marsaxlokk Bay, which also included six other batteries, the large Saint Lucian Tower, two smaller De Redin towers, four redoubts and three entrenchments.[3] The nearest fortifications to Balbani Battery were Bengħisa Tower to the south and Fresnoy Redoubt to the west. Construction of the battery cost 1855 scudi.[5] The mastermind of the battery was architect Burlemarch and at its completion it was armed with eight cannons.[2] It had a pentagonal platform with a blockhouse at the rear, which was also defended by a redan.[6]

The battery was demolished, and its site is now occupied by part of the Malta Freeport.[7] The land where it was is still named as Ta' Balbani for the battery.[3]


  1. ^ Farrugia Randon, Stanley (2015). Heritage Saved – Din l-Art Ħelwa – 1965–2015. Luqa: Miller Distributors Ltd. p. 119. ISBN 9789995752132.
  2. ^ a b Guillaumier, Alfie (2005). Bliet u Rħula Maltin. Vol. 2. Klabb Kotba Maltin. p. 93. ISBN 99932-39-40-2.
  3. ^ a b c Camilleri, Alex. "It-Toponomastika ta' Malta: Il-Port ta' Marsaxlokk u Madwaru" (PDF). L-Imnara. 1 (32): 23–24.
  4. ^ de Boisgelin, Louis (1805). Ancient and Modern Malta: Containing a Full and Accurate Account of the Present State of the Islands of Malta and Goza, the History of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, Also a Narrative of the Events which Attended the Capture of These Islands by the French, and Their Conquest by the English: and an Appendix, Containing Authentic State Papers and Other Documents - Volume II. London: Richard Phillips. p. 189.
  5. ^ Spiteri, Stephen C. (18 October 2010). "St. Thomas Tower and Battery". Archived from the original on 19 June 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  6. ^[bare URL PDF]
  7. ^ "About Birzebbuga". Retrieved 28 June 2015.