Dwejra Tower

Dwejra Tower (Maltese: Torri tad-Dwejra) [1] is a small watchtower in Dwejra Bay, limits of San Lawrenz on the island of Gozo in Malta. It was completed in 1652, and is one of the Lascaris towers. Today, it is in good condition and is open to the public.

Dwejra Tower
Torri tad-Dwejra
Part of the Lascaris towers
Dwejra, San Lawrenz, Gozo, Malta
Vigie maltaise.jpg
Dwejra Tower
Coordinates36°2′58.1″N 14°11′31.4″E / 36.049472°N 14.192056°E / 36.049472; 14.192056
TypeCoastal watchtower
Site information
OwnerGovernment of Malta
Controlled byDin l-Art Ħelwa
Open to
the public
Yes
ConditionIntact
Site history
Built1652
Built byOrder of Saint John
In use1652–1873
1914–1940s
MaterialsLimestone
Battles/warsWorld War II

It is one of four surviving coastal watchtowers in Gozo, with the others being Xlendi Tower, Mġarr ix-Xini Tower and Isopu Tower.

HistoryEdit

The Dwejra Tower was built in 1652 during the magistracy of Grand Master Giovanni Paolo Lascaris, and was funded by the Università of Gozo. It is one of the Lascaris towers, and the intention behind its construction was for it to act as a watchtower and guard the surrounding areas from oncoming enemies, most especially pirate landings. This tower, just like the other towers, could communicate to nearby defence fortifications through fire and smoke, at night and during the day respectively. The expenses for running the tower were covered by producing salt from the salt pans near it. It was equipped with three 6-pounder guns in the eighteenth century. In 1744, Grand Master Pinto made going to the Fungus Rock illegal because a fungus which grew there was believed to have medicinal powers, and Dwejra Tower was used as a lookout to prevent anyone climbing on the islet.[2]

The tower was manned by the Royal Malta Fencible Artillery between 1839 and 1873. It was then abandoned until 1914, during the time of the First World War, when the King's Own Malta Regiment and the Royal Malta Artillery were dispatched and it was manned by No 3 Company with two, and later four, 12-pounder guns. It was again used in World War II as an observation post, and in 1942 Captain Frank Debono and Carmelo Zahra, who were stationed there, rescued an RAF pilot who had crashed in the bay.[3]

The tower was leased to Gerald de Trafford in 1956. It was passed on loan to Din l-Art Ħelwa in a state of complete decay.

Present dayEdit

 
Dwejra Tower with the Azure Window in the background

The tower was restored by Din l-Art Ħelwa between 1997 and 1999. It is now in good condition and is open to the public at no charge.[4]

In popular cultureEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Graham, Jimmy (4 July 2015). "Dwerja Tower, Gozo". Le Crac. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Dwejra Tower". Visit Gozo. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Dwejra Tower". Malta Info Guide. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Dwejra Tower, Gozo". Din l-Art Ħelwa. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  5. ^ Farrugia Randon, Stanley (2015). Heritage Saved – Din l-Art Ħelwa – 1965–2015. Luqa: Miller Distributors Ltd. pp. 163–170. ISBN 9789995752132.

External linksEdit