Fort St Angelo, situated in the centre of the Grand Harbour, occupies a site which has seen its fair share of activity. The earliest documented evidence dates to 1241 and there a reference is made to a Castrum Maris, meaning castle by the sea. However, it is very probable that the Castrum was even older than the mentioned date and it has also been proposed that occupation of the site could even date to the Classical period or even before. Evidence tells us a story that the castle was the centre of mercantile activity on the island and was a site that was contested for as had happened in the 1283-84 Battle of Malta and in the 1427 Gonsalvo Monroy affair. Upon the arrival of the Order of Saint John on the Maltese Islands in 1530, Fort St Angelo, with what was referred to at the time as the nova citta of Birgu, became the centre of Maltese administration. The major role that the Fort had in the Great Siege of 1565 is well known.
Throughout the 18th century Fort St Angelo, with its upgrade into a major coastal fortification and the surrounding defensive works that were erected, became a central part of what has been described as ‘a showpiece of military engineering’. It was also called into action during the Second World War, in which it suffered 69 direct hits. Following a major restoration project in the previous decade, which at the time was one of the biggest projects that Heritage Malta had ever embarked on, nowadays visitors can get to experience the above-mentioned history along with mesmerising views of the Grand Harbour.