The Saluting Battery is one of Malta's most vibrant visitor attractions where history is brought to life daily! Located high along Valletta's eastern historic ramparts, it enjoys unrivaled spectacular views of the Grand Harbour and its surrounding fortified towns. It is also perhaps the oldest saluting battery still in operation anywhere in the world. For almost 500 years, its guns protected the harbour against naval assault. Its prominent position also ensured it becoming the island's principal saluting platform. From here, gun salutes were fired on occasions of state, to mark anniversaries and religious feasts, and also to greet visiting dignitaries and vessels. From the 1820's a gun was also fired at mid-day to signal out the exact hour of the day by which Ship Masters would calibrate their chronographs on board. These time pieces were used up to the early part of the 20th century to find the longitude at sea.
These signals, along with the one at mid-day, served largely to regulate the pace of life in the city and its surroundings. Following a lull of almost half-a century, this battery is back in use following an extensive restoration process by Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna - the Malta Heritage Trust, in conjunction with the Malta Tourism Authority. Once again, its guns resonate daily in the same way of old to herald the passage of md-day and to add to the festive mood that marks important anniversaries in the history of the island.