External works on the Xlendi Tower have been completed, a tower that was built 400 years ago to guard the northern coast of Gozo and today comprises a heritage protected building. The second phase will commence soon with internal restorations that will include a fully-equipped interpretation centre recounting the history of the tower and the treasures to be found in the seas around Xlendi.
The ravages of time have taken their toll on the tower, particular the stonework. The project is being taken by the Munxar Local Council on an investment of €355,000, part of which is coming from EU Funds.
The tower is located on the cliff promontory known as Ras il-Bajda and overlooks Xlendi Bay and was built in 1650, the oldest tower during the administration of Grandmaster Lascaris and different from other coastal towers has a veranda that overlooks the sea.
Over the years the tower served for defensive purposes but became subject to wear and tear from time and the elements and finally resulted in a dire condition. Munxar Council Mayor Damien Spiteri explained that initial works presented a challenge, including access and the growth of a great number of plants that were required to be relocated. A second call has now been issued to complete the internal works including the installation of light and water systems and the development of an interpretation system.
The Mayor explained this centre will cover the tower’s history and the riches of the sea to be found around Xlendi Bay. This includes a Phoenician wreck just a few metres away from the tower that dates back to 700 BC and whose aspects will be exhibited in the tower centre.
During some summer nights from July to September the tower is being lit by traditional fire torches.