A fortification in Birzebbugia which goes back to the times of the Knights is to be restored through a Government scheme whereby support is given to Local Councils to safeguard projects of historical heritage. The fortification, known as the St George redoubt, has a different format to other redoubts, which are in pentagonal shape.
The redoubt in Birzebbugia is one of a series of coastal fortifications built by the Order of St John at the beginning of the 18th century. This particular redoubt, in a semi-circular format, will be restored by the Restoration Directorate within the Justice, Culture and Local Government Ministry as part of this restoration works scheme for Councils.
Architect Amanda Degiovanni explained that as it is close to the sea, much of the stonework has eroded, and a considerable part of it will have to be replaced.
“Other work will include filling in between the stonework, as most of this has been lost. Also the cleaning of the redoubt from the amount of salt deposited by sea action, and removal of soil in direct contact with the redoubt. We will b shifting the soil one foot away to allow breathing space and prevent the salt getting into the redoubt through the soil.”
The St George’s Redoubt is built on the site of a cemetery and includes the chapel dedicated to St George, from which it takes its name.
Culture Minister Owen Bonnici said this was just one of several works being carried out by the Restoration Directorate.
“Together with Birebbugia Local Council we decided to carry out this restoration to bring it back to its former glory by mid-next year.”
Applications for the fifth call for this scheme of restoration works for Local Councils close on 30 August.