As the first truly 16th
century coastal fortified city in Malta, Vittoriosa has hitherto failed to
attract the attention it deserve as a historical site. It has similarly
failed to attract cultural and tourism-related facilities.
Its ramparts and fortifications,
as a result, have suffered considerably through neglect and misuse. This
project was aimed at restoring both the decaying physical fabric of the
fortifications (important examples of 16th-to18th century bastioned defences),
the removal of modern accretions and additions that detract from the legibility
of the historic assets and the rehabilitation of those areas currently
unavailable to the public.
Such an investment helped
to infuse new life into the Birgu/Cottonera area and its community and provided
renewed opportunities for new economic and cultural activities. The
restoration of the fortifications transformed the Vittoriosa enceinte into a
major tourist attraction and allowed, for the first time, for the introduction
of a heritage trail with access to all of the enceinte, including the Post of
Castile, the site of the most important battle of the Great Siege of 1565.
The project also greatly
assisted sympathetic commercial development on the western side of the city of
Vittoriosa (currently being undertaken by the Vittoriosa Waterfront Group) and
helped to link, through the landfront system of fortifications, with the
eastern side of the old city looking onto Kalkara Creek.