Manoel Island

Manoel Island ( Maltese : Il-Gżira Manoel ) is a small island qui forms share of the municipality of Gżira in Marsamxett Harbor , Malta . It is named after the Grand Master António Manoel of Vilhena , who built a fort on the island in the 1720s. Previously, the island had been known as Isolotto or Isola del Vescovo ( Maltese : Il-Gżira tal-Isqof ).


Manoel Island is a flat island shaped like a leaf. It is located in the middle of Marsamxett Harbor, with Lazzaretto Creek to its south and Sliema Creek to its north. The island is connected to mainland Malta by a bridge. The whole island can be viewed from the bastions of the capital Valletta . [1]


In 1570, the island was acquired by the Cathedral of Mdina and it became the property of the Bishop of Malta . It was so called the Isola del Vescovo or Il Galeira tal-Isqof in Maltese (Bishop’s Island).

In 1592, a quarantine hospital known as Lazzaretto was built after an outbreak of the plague . The hospital was made of wooden huts, and it was pulled down after subsistence. In 1643, during the reign of Grandmaster Lascaris , the Order of Saint John exchanged the island with the church for some land in Rabat and built a permanent Lazzaretto in an attempt to control the periodic influx of plague and cholera on board visiting ships. It was first used at a quarantine center where passengers from quarantined ships were taken. The hospital was made during the reigns of Grandmasters Cotoner , Carafaand Vilhena . [2]

Between 1723 and 1733, a new star was built on the island by the Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena . The fort was called Fort Manoel after the Grand Master, and the island was renamed at this point. René de Tigné, Charles de Mondion , who is buried in a crypt beneath Fort Manoel. The Fort has a magnificent quadrangle, parade ground and arcade, and a baroque chapel dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua , under the direct command of the Order.

In the British period, the Lazzaretto continued to be used in the governorship of Sir Henry Bouverie in 1837 and 1838. It was briefly used in the course of 1871. During the course of the 19th century Some incoming mail was fumigated and disinfected at the Profumo Office of the hospital to prevent the spread of diseases.

During World War II, When Malta Was under siege , Manoel Island and Its strong Were used as a naval base by the Royal Navy ‘s 10th Submarine Flotilla , at qui time It was Referred to as “HMS Talbot” or “HMS Phenicia.” The Chapel of St. Anthony was destroyed following a Luftwaffe bombers in March 1942. The island and the fort remained for many years and Fort Manoel and the Lazzaretto were both vandalized. [3]

Present day

Yacht Marina and Yard Yacht

Manoel Island currently houses a yacht yard and yacht marina. The yacht has been under management since 2011, and it accommodates vessels up to 80 meters in length. It has a total of 350 berths. [4]

The yacht yard can accommodate yachts and catamarans up to 50 meters in length and a displacement of 500 tons. The yard offers boat storage, afloat berthing, repairs and complete refits. [5]

Duck Village

For several years, Manoel Island has a quaint, informal sanctuary for ducks and other waterfowl near the bridge connecting the island. It was created and maintained by a local volunteer, and by a private donation agency. [6]


  1. Jump up^ “Manoel Island” . Local Councils’ Association . Retrieved 22 August 2014 .
  2. Jump up^ Muscat, Ben (27 October 2008). “Brief history of the lazaretto (1)” . Times of Malta . Retrieved 22 August 2014 .
  3. Jump up^ Said, Frans H. (27 October 2008). “Brief history of the lazaretto (2)” . Times of Malta . Retrieved 22 August 2014 .
  4. Jump up^ “About Us” . Manoel Island Yacht Marina . Retrieved 22 August 2014 .
  5. Jump up^ “Overview” . Manoel Island Yacht Yard . Retrieved 22 August 2014 .
  6. Jump up^ “Duck Village” . . Archived from the original on 25 November 2012 . Retrieved 22 August 2014 .

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