Forts & Fortifications

The Victoria Lines

The Victoria Lines are a series of fortifications that span the island of Malta from east to west for a length of twelve kilometres.  These defences were built between 1870 and 1899 and named after Queen Victoria in honour of her diamond jubilee as sovereign.  These defences were intended to protect the highly populated southern part of Malta from an invasion coming from the largely uninhabited north of the island.  The Victoria Lines, consisting of a number of batteries, forts, and an infantry line, were never effectively used as a means of defence and by 1907 they were not considered to be an important front-line defence any more.  A walk along large stretches of these Lines makes for a great experience.

 

Fort Mosta

Fort Mosta is located in the centre of the Victoria Lines.  The fort was built in 1878 by the British Military. This fort is still used for military purposes today by the Malta Armed Forces. The Dog Section of the Malta Police Corps is also housed in the Fort Most complex. Within the fort’s precincts there is a Late Roman catacomb dating from the 4th century CE.

 

Civil Defence School

On the outskirts of Mosta, a short distance from Fort Mosta there is a complex which once served as the Civil Defence School.  This was established in 1956 to provide training to civilians in preparation for any national emergencies.  With time this school changed its focus and became an art and design school for student artists.  In more recent times it has evolved into an institute of the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology where education in artistic expression is developed to even higher standards.  In the neighbourhood one also finds a Greek theatre, a public garden – Ġnien l-Għarusa tal-Mosta – and an underground nuclear shelter.