Your Easy Guide to Malta

Malta’s In Guardia Parade promises booms and bangs


Whether you’re a history fan or not, there’s one event in Malta you should experience at least once.

The In Guardia Parade is a re-enactment that portrays an authentic event that took place regularly in Malta’s military forts.

It is held most Sundays at Fort St Elmo in Valletta.

The event depicts a military drill which took place during the time of the Knights of St John in Malta in the 1600s.

During the re-enactment, the soldiers of the fort – some 50 re-enactors in all – are kitted out in their finest uniforms to help transport you back in time.

What’s the history behind it?

Fort St Elmo was built by the Knights of Malta in 1522, with an impending Ottoman Turk invasion in mind.

It was constructed on the design of Pietro Pardo, and the aim of guarding the entrances to the two harbours on either side of Mount Sceberras peninsula.

When the feared invasion did take place in 1565, the stage was set for one of the most glorious, though tragic, moments of Maltese military history.

The fort withstood the siege for over a month, but on 23 June 1565 the defenders were eventually overcome by the vast Turkish hordes.

None of the defending knights survived, and only nine of the Maltese defenders survived by swimming across to Fort St Angelo on the other side of the Grand Harbour after the fort fell.

When the Great Siege was over, the victorious Knights rebuilt Fort St Elmo and strengthened further its defences.

The spectacular show, which features explosions, cannons and a riot of colour, starts at 11am on Sundays and lasts 45 minutes.

Admission:  Adults: € 7 Children: € 3

The In Guardia Parade is organised by the Malta Tourism Authority.

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