Visiting Santa Marija Tower in Comino
“How long haven’t I been to the Blue Lagoon? It must have been few years now!” That’s what I was thinking last week when deciding where to go on my next adventure… So I just packed my beach bag, drove to Cirkewwa and jumped on one of the Comino ferries.
Oooooh the Blue Lagoon is still as blue as I remember it! I got the first ferry to Comino at 9am, it cost me €10 return and when I got there about 9:30am all the sun beds were still empty and there were just few people in the water. I had a really nice time, I couldn’t get enough and I stayed swimming in the water until about 11:30am when all the tourist boats started coming in and literally flooded the Blue Lagoon with holiday makers. That was the moment when I packed my things and went to explore the island of Comino! Beacuse Comino is not just about the Blue Lagoon, right?
I only walked ‘behind the corner’ and the views got even better! I just love the Mediterranean! Below you can already see Santa Marija Tower on the horizon. And that’s where I am going to take you today to explore one of Malta’s coastal towers.
Just a quick tip. I was wearing sandals and if when I come again to Comino to explore I am definitely wearing my tennis shoes as the surface is quite uneven and I slipped few times.
You get to see some beautiful natural creations. Maybe another ‘Azure Window’ in the making.
Crystal Lagoon, another pretty place in Comino as you can see. Stunning views, crystal clear water and hardly any people. What else do you need? Heaven on Earth.
And here it is! For this week’s adventure I have chosen to visit Santa Marija Tower. And here is a bit of history about this fortification.
When the Order of St John had completed the fortifications of Valletta, it began to strengthen its coastal defences by building a network of tower in strategic locations to facilitate defence and communications. The Santa Marija Tower formed part of this network and was a key defence post between the Citadella in Gozo and Mdina in Malta.
The decision to build this tower was taken by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt in 1618. Its constructions was financed by the Grand Master himself, and by the sale of the brushwood on the island. The tower is a square 12 metres tall building that sits on a plinth that’s about 8 metres high, with four corner turrets. The watch tower is located about 80 metres above the sea level.
During the British period the tower was important for the protection of the anchorage and communications between Gozo (Fort Chambray) and Malta (Fort St Agatha (the Red Tower) in Mellieha).
And if anyone of you have seen the 2002 film ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ you might have recognised the tower already. The Santa Marija Tower was used to represent the prison Château d’if.
Once walking up the stairs I looked around and smiled. What a stunning view! Aren’t I a lucky girl to be able to witness this? Admission by donation, so prepare some change, €2 were fine, but of course if you want to support the up keeping of the tower even more you can donate as much as you like. 🙂
Looking at Gozo, on your right hand side you can see an old building that used to serve as an isolation hospital. It was established on Comino sometime after 1912 and used for the treatment of plague an cholera-stricken passengers to be kept away from Malta. The hospital was later used for the treatment of some wounded soldiers in the first World War. Today part of it serves as a living quarters for the few inhabitants of Comino.
Before you go back to the Blue Lagoon or continue exploring Comino, take a moment to enjoy this outstanding view of the Blue Lagoon and Malta’s sister island Gozo.
And this is the end of yet another adventure on the Maltese Islands. Definitely include Comino in your itinerary and don’t just stay in the Blue Lagoon, go out and explore the island. This time I have finished at the Santa Marija Tower, but I will be back! That’s for sure! 🙂