Fort St Elmo – St. Anne’s Chapel

Fort St. Elmo occupies a strategic position at the tip of the Sceberras peninsula. During the Medieval period, this key position was already recognised and exploited. Reference to a permanent watch-post at Santo Eramo can in fact be found in the Militia Roster of 1417. Following a harsh Ottoman razzia in 1551, and various reports indicating a looming Ottaman siege, Grand Master De Homedes issued an order for the immediate erection of a fort. A star-shaped fort was constructed in circa 6 months, by military engineer Pietro Pardo, under the supervision of Knight Fra Leone Strozzi. By 1565 the fort had acquired a cavalier, a covertway, a terraille, and a ravelin which was hastily built only a few months before the Great Siege of 1565. Fort St. Elmo also played an important role during World War II.

St. Anne’s Chapel
First documented in 1488, predating the construction of the fort itself, the chapel was embellished in the mid-17th century during the magistracy of Giovanni Paolo Lascaris. A 15th-century Madonna and Child icon is located within the chapel, brought to Malta by the Hospitallers from Lepanto in Greece.
During the Great Siege of Malta, the chapel was the dramatic scene for the last stand made by the defenders of the fort before it fell to the Ottoman invaders. With its barrel vault and coffered ceiling, St. Anne’s chapel makes for a timeless Renaissance setting for any religious or matrimonial event.

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