The Gallows Point
Fort Ricasoli is a large fortification on the island of Malta, built by the Knights of St. John between 1670 and 1693. It occupies the promontory known as the Gallows Point that forms the eastern arm of Grand Harbour, and the north shore of Rinella Creek. The lying figure in the foreground is a part of the Siege Bell Memorial in Valletta, and symbolizes the 7000 killed during the Siege of Malta 1940-1943. Fort Ricasoli was designed by the Italian military engineer Antonio Maurizio Valperga, as part of Grand Master Nicholas Cottoner's extensive fortifications around Grand Harbour. It is named for the knight who financed a large part of the works, Fra Giovanni Francesco Ricasoli. A few additions have been made to the fort until 1715, but from that time on, much of the work was renovation and repairs, mostly prompted by a Turkish threat in 1722. In the 18th century, the Knights set up a gallows on Ricasoli Point where galley-slaves, who tried to escape from their posts, were hanged. The gallows served as a stem warning to crews entering the harbour of the destiny awaiting those who abandoned their place in the galleys. The Fort continued to be an active military installation throughout the British period and it played an important role during World War II. It was attacked several times by German dive bombers, suffering serious destruction. Fort Ricasoli was used as a filming location for the movie Gladiator. Adding some CGI effects, they used this place to recreate and shoot all the Rome scenes. It was also used for the filming of other epic movies like Troy and Agora.