30 April 2023






2 mins

One of the gems around the Maltese Islands is the TUNNARA MUSEUM which is housed in Westreme Battery, also known as ir-Rasus Battery or Mellieħa Right Battery, at the Northern Part of Malta – Mellieha.

Westreme Battery was built between 1715 and 1716 as part of the Order of Saint John’s first building program of coastal fortifications. The battery was probably named after a knight of the same name. No records with details about its construction are known. The battery was one of two batteries guarding Mellieħa Bay, the other one being the now-demolished Fedeau Battery. The area was further defended by Mellieħa Redoubt at the centre of the bay, but this no longer exists.

In 1748, Grand Master Manuel Pinto de Fonseca inaugurated the tunnara, a traditional Maltese tuna fishing method, at Westreme Battery. Over the years, the battery’s military importance was diminished, and it was used as a store for fishing nets and other equipment used in the tunnara

During the French invasion of Malta of 1798, Westreme Battery was the first battery to be overrun by the invading forces and during World War II, the blockhouse was converted into a beach post. Rectangular machine gun portholes were cut into the corners of the building. Another concrete beach post and a searchlight emplacement were also built near the blockhouse.

After the war, the blockhouse was again used in the tunnara

Today, the semi-circular gun platform and the parapet of the battery no longer exist, although some parts of the rock hewn base can still be seen. The blockhouse is still intact, and is open to the public as the Tunnara Museum. Its exhibits relate mainly to Maltese traditional tuna fishing.

The blockhouse was restored in 2007 and 2008 with further restoration works in 2015. A full renovation project was announced in October 2019, with around 80%  of the project was paid for through EU funds (Project ERDF.05.115)

In May 2022 it was inaugurated by the parliamentary secretaries for EU funds and local government Chris Bonett and Alison Zerafa Civelli and Mellieħa mayor Dario Vella.


While visiting the Museum, make sure that you go on the roof of the Battery & enjoy stunning views of Mellieha Bay & Surroundings.


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