Siege Bell Memorial
If you look down from the terrace at the Lower Barrakka Garden, you can’t miss the massive bell overlooking the Breakwater Bridge. The Siege Bell Memorial gives rise to a lot of questions from tourists, who invariably first react by whipping out their camera – because really, a huge random bell that was clearly built in modern times, lying on an old city’s fortifications, is something to behold. Most visitors quickly follow up their photos with a ‘why?’
As the name itself implies, the Siege Bell Memorial was built to commemorate the 50th anniversary from when Malta was awarded the George Cross for valour and bravery during World War II. The monument was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth herself in 1992, with the idea behind being to have a relatively simple monument that does not clash with the surrounding fortifications and the architecture of the environs.
Siege Bell Memorial – when to visit
The bell rings every day at noon, to mark the fact that Grand Harbour – site of so many battles – is now going through a period of peace. Our tip is to avoid following the masses right up to the bell. The ringing is pretty loud, and you won’t get the best view from such close proximity anyway. Stick to the Lower Barrakka Gardens and you’re guaranteed the best photo opportunities while still being able to chat comfortably.
If you’d like to experience the majestic monument itself – and we do suggest you do – the best time to visit is early afternoon, when the group tours start petering out and you can enjoy the space without too much interruption. If you go up the staircase, a second monument dedicated to the ‘Unknown Soldier’ is revealed.
The monument lies a two-minute stroll along the fortifications away from St Elmo’s and the Mediterranean Conference Centre.