Fort Rinella

Fort Rinella, Kalkara

Military Museums
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Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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About
Fort Rinella in Kalkara,was built in 1878. This fort is not only a unique remnant of Malta's recent British colonial past, but it is also the world's first mechanical fort which enabled its small garrison to fire a monstrous 100-ton gun every six minutes. To be able to do this, the fort was equipped with a novel steam-driven hydraulic set-up that enabled the gun to traverse and depress and its ammunition to be hoisted and loaded mechanically. On visiting this fort in 1889, the great French writer Jules Verne described it as a marvel of the industrial age which would render Malta safe for ever. Some say that this is the place from where he got the idea of writing his famous novel a 'Voyage to the Moon', where a man is stuffed into a large projectile and fired from a large gun onto the moon!Originally, the 100-ton gun was built by Sir William George Armstrong of Newcastle in 1878, to equip a new class of Italian battleships - the Duilio class. This caused a serious stir between Britain and Italy which led to the former to obtain examples of the same gun to secure Malta and Gibraltar against a potential Italian seaborne attack.The Armstrong 100-ton gun has a calibre of 17.72-Inches (45cm). It is 35 feet long and has an overall weight of 156 tons making it the world's largest muzzle-loading cannon ever built. It used a quarter of a ton of gun powder to propel its monster shells up to a maximum range of eight miles. At that range it could pierce anything up to 21-inches of ship armour! The gun at Fort Rinella and another at Napier of Magdala Battery in Gibraltar are the sole surving examples today. The fort has recently undergone extensive restoration and improvement. A new 20-minute audio-visual outlining the history of the fort and its gun has also been added and is included in all guided tours.RE-Live History at Fort Rinella - Every afternoon from Monday to Saturday!Throughout the year, from Monday to Saturday at 14.00Hrs sharp, Fort Rinella is brought back to life complete with late 19th century Victorian soldiers who will take visitors on an animated tour around the fort. This tour combines excellent guiding with live and colourful historical re-enacting including military signalling, firing of rifles, bayonet practice, military cooking and more. Much use of original period equipment and weapons is made throughout this tour. All this goes to provide an enjoyable and long lasting experience to visitors.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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5.0
1,456 reviews
Excellent
1,295
Very good
113
Average
32
Poor
14
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2

BT3rd
Datchet, UK5,786 contributions
Jan 2022 • Couples
Ayrton was our guide to this amazing fort built for one reason - to house the largest muzzle loading gun ever made. The Armstrong 100lb cannon. He was affable, knowledgeable and enthusiastic in his explanation of the hydraulic system used to load and fire the cannon.
Inside we were allowed to roam the forts passages and there is an interesting museum on site.
This is well worth a visit to see a unique piece of history.
Written 15 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Judith K
Vancouver, Canada2 contributions
Jan 2022 • Family
I highly recommend taking a tour of this very unique fort. Our guide David patently and throughly explained the mechanics of the cannons as well as how and why the fort was built.
Written 8 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jakub W
1 contribution
Dec 2021 • Couples
Very good guide Ayrton. He showed us a gun,and proffesionaly explained all mechanisms. We could use an original rifle from XIX century. Must See this Fort on Malta.
Written 9 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karol L
1 contribution
Nov 2021 • Family
If you are interested in very unique weapon you should go to Fort Rinella. They have one of two worlds biggest cannon. Also there is very nice your guide David - best regards to him :)
My son loved this attraction. It's located from other nice places so you can consider this part of Island to visit for longer tour.
Written 27 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Iza Ł
2 contributions
Nov 2021
Very interesting place, our guide Ayrton was excellent. He was a really knowledgable and full of passion. He took us into the very exited journey , explaining everything in a nice and interesting form.
Highly recommended!!!!!!!
Written 27 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

elisa E
1 contribution
Nov 2021 • Family
Really liked the older tour guide:) it was very interesting and wasn't long. There wasn't many people so it was really nice experience! Thank you
Written 20 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MadTravelDog
London, UK43 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
Well done to the team at Fort Rinella, your tour and explanations were of the highest quality. A really knowledgeable and passionate group. The museum displays are of the highest standards and are easy to follow. Only minor issue is to avoid giving talks outside on weapons whilst the video on the gun is showing - video is difficult to hear due to the acoustics of the rooms. Really enjoyed the visit and chat afterwards.
Written 16 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Villa F
6 contributions
Oct 2021 • Family
Great family experience at Fort Rinella and thanks to our guide David who took time to explain the ins and outs of the fort history and usage including the 100 tons gun.
The Fort is well kept.
We were even able to fire a rifle !!!
Great for a 1.5 hour visit mostly outside.
Highly recommended
Written 13 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Fed G
4 contributions
Nov 2021 • Family
My son and I were looking for something to fill a Saturday afternoon and picked Fort Rinella and so happy we did, we had a great afternoon!
We decided to have a guide come with us and David, our guide, was incredible!
Fort Rinella isn’t a huge site but it houses a 100ton gun and learning about the history of the gun, the genius engineering behind it and how the soldiers operated it is really worth going to see. How the fort was designed and constructed is also impressive.
There’s a small museum to walk around after.
I highly recommend having one of the guides talk you through as it brings the place to life. They have in-depth knowledge of the fort and talk with great enthusiasm.
David talked us through everything and was so interesting to listen to I didn’t want it to end.
We also had a chat with some of the other staff who again were very friendly, knowledgeable and you can see they really enjoy telling people about the place.
I paid for my son to fire a musket and it’s well worth the extra €5.
I will definitely go back and try and catch the re-enactments they do.
They are hoping to increase the attractions of the museum so it’s a heritage site well worth visiting and supporting.
Written 7 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karen V
1 contribution
Nov 2021 • Couples
Being able to shoot a trap door Martini, excellent guide and museum that is very interesting, fantastic. When the guides have showed you around you can walk the underground tunnels and view the museum which is full of information and items to see, unique gifts are available and children will love there visit here and the adults will enjoy the freedom to roam too :) 100% great visit.
Written 6 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Fort Rinella

Fort Rinella is open:
  • Thu - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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We recommend booking Fort Rinella tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 1 Fort Rinella tours on Tripadvisor


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