Fort Rinella
Malta, Kalkara

The British coastal artillery fort Rinella was built in 1878 - 1886 in Malta, in the village of Kalkara. The purpose of the fort was to protect the Mediterranean Royal Navy, based in Malta. The garrison of Fort Rinella consisted of 35 people and was completely autonomous. The fort was the largest muzzle-loading gun in the world - the 100-ton Armstrong cannon. To charge the gun required 250 kg of gunpowder. She could shoot shells weighing one ton at a distance of 8 nautical miles, while piercing ship armor 65 cm thick. The gun was equipped with the world's first mechanical loading system, which was powered by a steam engine and allowed to deploy and reload the gun in just 6 minutes . The shape of the battery was a pentagon surrounded by a deep moat. The fort was built on two levels: in the underground level there was a powder warehouse and two loading chambers, in the ground level - residential premises and equipment of the loading elevator. On September 10, 1882, the Armstrong gun arrived in Malta, and it was delivered to Fort Rinella in January 1884. In 1906, just twenty years after being “registered” at the fort, 100-ton cannons in the British army were declared obsolete. Armstrong’s cannons are being removed from production and armaments, equipment and hydraulic mechanisms at Fort Rinella were dismantled, and the fort itself was abandoned. During the Second World War, the fort housed an ammunition depot, and in 1965 it was transferred to the state of Malta. After restoration work, all the premises of the fort, including a network of underground tunnels, are open to the public. With the help of visual demonstrations in the fort, aspects of army life are recreated, historical dramas from the life of the British garrison, a demonstration of military exercises, and cavalry shows are carried out. A tour of the fort includes a film about the history of the fort and its 100-ton cannon. The gun itself fires only once a year - on May 5, using an idle charge. This action attracts a lot of tourists to the fort.

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