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Fortifications - Ghajn Tuffieha Tower

Għajn Tuffieħa Tower overlooking both Għajn Tuffieħa Bay and the inner bay. A similar tower was built not far from it in Lippija overlooking Ġnejna bay.

Ghajn Tuffieha Tower was one of the seven towers built by Grand Master Lascaris. This Grand Master embarked on the project of building a number of coastal towers in various vulnerable parts of the Maltese Islands. Six of them were small while the other one, the Red Tower or Fort St. Agatha at Mellieha was larger. Ghajn Tuffieha Tower and the nearby Lippija Tower (overlooking Gnejna Bay), were the only ones that were built in north-western Malta. This is due to its poor accessibility where very few natural and vulnerable bays exist for disembarkation of Ottoman troops or Muslim Corsairs.

Ghajn Tuffieha Tower was actually the first coastal tower to be built at Mellieha during the Hospitaller rule. During the Middle Ages il-Mahras maintained a watch-post in Ghajn Tuffieha, probably in the same site were the tower was built. It was built in 1637 and its plan is similar to Lippija Tower. Ghajn Tuffieha Tower has a longish shape and the ground floor room is larger than the second floor one. It was armed with ½-pdr cannon and was manned by four men, a captain and three men, who were paid by the Universita of Imdina. 1


1 Stephen Spiteri. Fortresses of the Cross: Hospitaller Military Architecture (1136-1798), A Heritage Interpretation Services Publication, Malta, 1994, p 569



Researched and Written by: Charles Debono B.A.(Hons) History

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