Upper Barrakka Gardens & Saluting Battery

sights / Parks & gardens

Upper Barrakka Gardens & Saluting Battery information

Lonely Planet review

These colonnaded gardens perched high above Grand Harbour were created in the late 16th century as a relaxing haven for the Knights from the nearby Auberge d'Italie. They provide a shady retreat from the bustle of the city, and the balcony has one of the best views in Malta.

The terrace below is occupied by the Saluting Battery , where a cannon once fired salutes to visiting naval vessels, and now fires every day at noon. The sight was under renovation at the time of research, but will have reopened by the time you're reading this. Guided tours are usually available, demonstrating how the cannon is loaded and fired, the network of tunnels within the St Peter and Paul Bastion, and a series of displays on the history of time-keeping and signalling. A new panoramic lift has also been constructed, which connects the gardens with the Lascaris ditch, replacing a British-built lift that started operating in 1905 and was decommissioned in 1973.