Castrum Maris – a show window for the history of the Knights of the Order of St John
Fort St Angelo, which for many years was the most important fortification for the Knights of the Order of St John in the Grand Harbour, is currently collating 700 years of the Order’s history – that is from the founding of the Order at the beginning of the 12th Century to near the end of the Order’s sojourn in Malta towards the end of the 18th Century.
The corridors and halls of the Fort – known as Castrum Maris – are presently a show window of six main epochs in the Order’s history with the initial scenes featuring the first years of the 12th Century and the Oder’s activities in the Holy Land.
Robert Zammit from Companigia San Michele, said the Maltese group has been joined by eight other Italian groups so that this fortification in the Grand Harbour which has great links to the Order will reflect an interpretation of the events that shaped the Order until it departed from Malta towards the end of the 18th Century.
Zammit said the Order began in the 12th Century as Hospitaliers to take care of pilgrims to the Holy Land. Another group represents the militarisation of the Order that took up the fight when the Holy Lands were lost. This includes battles and training in the use of period armaments.
At the end of this week the public will be given the opportunity to follow dramatic scenes and see a collection of period armaments together with explanations by professionals on the St Angelo fortifications and the Order’s evolution along the years.
A group represents events at the beginning of the 17th Century, different forms of sword fights, the Wignacourt period and the building for defensive forts while another group will represent the Baroque era and squads of French soldiers that reflect this period.
This historic and educational project is financed by a support scheme for small initiatives by the Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector.