Protecting the most significant buildings, monuments and features of Pembroke (18)

The Fougasse in the Madliena Tower area

The Fougasse is one of the most unusual and crude, yet simple form of coastal defences introduced in Malta by the Knights of St John in the 18th century. It was aimed to protect the bays and inlets of the Maltese islands against any seaborne invasion.

The Fougasse consisted of a conical hole excavated at an angle in the rock close to the shore on the entrance of a cove, aimed to simulate a mortar and designed to fire a huge mass of stone boulders. The aim was to 'shower' enemy ships and boats, and even disembarking troops with stone projectiles, thus causing considerable damage and loss of life before any close combat occurs. The use of the Fogazza a Selci was first introduced in Malta and of which a very small number still remain.

Mepa scheduled the Fougasse by the Madliena Tower in 1996 as Grade 1 property of historic, architectural and contextual value as it forms part of a larger scheduled military complex and its status was retained following a revision and republished as per Government Notice number 880/09 dated October 30, 2009.

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