Vittoriosa and Fort St Angelo
Vittoriosa is the next peninsula over, still protected by Fort St
Angelo, at a strategic point fortified back to the 9th Century.
Beginning in 1530, the Knights of Malta strengthened it as
their military and political headquarters. Here was the
residence of the Grand Master, a title used for the Knights of
Malta commander, who moved to Valletta, the new capital.
When the Ottoman Empire laid siege to Malta in 1565,
Grand Master la Valette and the Knights held out, despite
having to surrender Fort St Angelo after fierce fighting. The
Knights of Malta always had other forts, and the Great Siege
dragged on. Finally, after the Knights were reinforced, the
Ottomans gave up and sailed away. That date, known as
Victory Day, remains a Maltese national holiday.
And Fort St Angelo, a survivor from 16th Century warfare,
always guards Malta's Grand Harbor with its formidable bulk.