MGARR IX-XINI TOWER is the largest of the coastal watchtowers that the Knights of Malta erected on the island of Gozo. It watches over the entrance to the bay of Mġarr ix-Xini.
Mġarr ix-Xini Tower was completed by June 1661, to a plan by Mederico Blondel. It cost an estimated 857 scudi, which were financed by the Gozo University. The design is similar to the De Redin towers in Malta, having a square plan with two floors. However, the design differed since its entrance was approached by a flight of steps and a drawbridge, unlike the other towers which had a retractable ladder.
It was originally manned by a castellan and a bombardier, but was no longer permanently manned by 1785 since the Ottoman threat had receded. It was rearmed with two 6 pounder iron guns in 1792.
The tower was restored in 2000 by the Ministry for Gozo and Wirt Għawdex. A path leading to the tower from the bay was also reopened, enabling visitors to enjoy the walk to the tower. Other restoration works were carried out during 2008 and restoration was finally completed in 2009 with Minister Giovanna Debono congratulated the workers and the officials of Wirt Ghawdex for their efforts.
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Published – Wednesday 26th May, 2021.