Mġarr ix-Xini Tower (Maltese: Torri ta' Mġarr ix-Xini) is the largest of the coastal watchtowers that the Knights of Malta erected on the island of Gozo. It watches over the entrance to the bay of Mġarr ix-Xini, limits of Għajnsielem, which lies on Gozo's south-west coast.
|Mġarr ix-Xini Tower|
Torri ta' Mġarr ix-Xini
|Għajnsielem, Gozo, Malta|
|Owner||Government of Malta|
|Controlled by||Wirt Għawdex|
|Built by||Order of Saint John|
It was completed in 1661, and its design is similar to the De Redin towers that were commissioned by Grand Master Martin de Redin. Recently, Wirt Għawdex, a heritage NGO, restored the tower. It is now open to the public.
Mġarr ix-Xini Tower was completed by June 1661, to a plan by Mederico Blondel. It cost an estimated 857 scudi, which were financed by the Università of Gozo. The design is similar to the De Redin towers on mainland Malta, having a square plan with two floors. However, the design differed since its entrance was approached by a flight of steps and a drawbridge, unlike the other towers which had a retractable ladder.
The tower has Santa Cecilia Tower (built 1613) and Saint Mary's Tower (built 1618) in its line of sight. It was originally manned by a castellan and a bombardier, but was no longer permanently manned by 1785 since the Ottoman threat had receded. It was rearmed with two 6-pounder iron guns in 1792.
Present day edit
The tower was restored in 2000 by the Ministry for Gozo and Wirt Għawdex. A path leading to the tower from the bay was also reopened, enabling visitors to enjoy the walk to the tower. Other restoration works were carried out in 2008, and restoration was finally completed in 2009.
The tower is now open to the public on Saturdays.
Further reading edit
- Graham, Jimmy (17 March 2015). "St Cecilia Tower, Ghajnsielem". Le Crac. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Mġarr ix-Xini Tower". Visit Gozo. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- "Mgarr ix-Xini tower being restored". Times of Malta. 17 September 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- "Historic tower opened for viewing". Times of Malta. 6 July 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- "Opening Times". Wirt Għawdex. Retrieved 30 May 2015.