St Paul's Bay Malta - Mediterranean Holiday Destinations
The history of the northern stretch of Malta is much less in-your-face than other parts of the island, in fact, with the exception of a tiny area of St Paul's Bay and a couple of towers left over from the time of the Knights, there is little of historical value to see. Until the early 1800's, the north of the island was virtually uninhabited, at the beginning of the 20th century there were fewer than 200 people living there as fishermen. A small collection of fishing boats is still in use at St Paul's Bay which gives the place a momentarily quaint, picturesque aspect.
Most people who visit the northern section of Malta do so for the sun, sea and sand. The island's three large resorts Bugibbe, Qawra and St Paul's Bay have blurred the coastline into a mass of apartment blocks. The one thing that separates St Paul's Bay from the British home-from-home created by neighbouring resorts is the local shops and Maltese homes that break up the tourist hotels and restaurants.
The Saint Paul's Bay that exists today is a long way from the events that named the place back in AD 60. According to the Bible, St Paul's ship ran aground on its way from the Holy Land to Rome. St Paul was treated so well by the Maltese that he thanked them by removing the venom from the islands' poisonous snakes forever.
There are only really two sites to explore in St Paul's Bay: St Paul's Shipwreck Church and Wignacourt Tower. St Pauls Shipwreck Church, also known as Church of St Paul's Bonfire was originally constructed 14th century and stands on the waterfront marking the spot where he scrambled ashore. Grandmaster Wignacourt unsuccessfully attempted to improve its appearance in the 17th century by making a few alterations that left it neither attractive nor grand. The whole thing was flattened during WWII anyway and what you see today is merely a basic reconstruction.
A short walk around the bay is Wignacourt Tower, erected in 1609. It stands guard over the entrance to the bay, and is one of the largest towers built to defend Malta's coastline. Not much to look at, the Tower contains two floors and a tiny museum on local history. The view from the top is the Tower's main attraction, with good views of the bay.