400 years ago – The 1614 Zejtun Skirmish

06 Jul

In 1614, 60 Turkish galleys under the command of Khalil Pasha arrived at Marsaxlokk. The newly built fort at San Lucjan resisted them, so the Turks went to Marsascala where they landed 5,000 men. When the alarm was given all sought shelter at Birgu and Mdina. The Maltese cavalry went to meet them, but the Turks had already plundered Zabbar and Zejtun and burnt their churches.

The Maltese forces under the leadership of Klement Tabuni attacked the Turks, drove them back to their ships, followed them even at sea, and captured many prisoners. The point of this battle was marked by Klement Tabuni by a chapel which he built a few meters away from his house and dedicated to St Clement.

After this, the Order built several coastal defences. In the same year St Thomas tower was built and finished by the Knights of St John. The huge fortress takes its name from St Thomas Church nearby. Later in 1657 Grand Master de Redin, out of his own pocket, built 13 towers around the Island, and placed in them guards and weapons.

Also, the Floriana (1635) and the Cottonera (1670) Lines of defence were built for everyone’s greater safety.




1 Comment

Posted by on July 6, 2014 in Uncategorized


One response to “400 years ago – The 1614 Zejtun Skirmish

  1. joseph Scerri

    July 7, 2014 at 7:05 am

    Thank you for your reply , I find this very interesting. Thanks Joseph


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