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The Comino Tower, also known as Santa Maria Tower, dominates the isle's South South-West as well as the South Comino Channel, while its guns used to guard both the North and the South Comino Channel.
Under the Aragonese and at the time of the Knights of St.John, Comino was frequently visited by corsairs, where Turkish galleys found shelter within its sleek creeks. The name in Maltese is Kemmuna which is a derivation of an Arabic word meaning "Sheltered place". These corsairs often pounced upon maritime shipping in the area, and mercilessly harrassed helpless Gozo boats loaded with needed supplies.
As a result of these attacks it was decided to build a formidable fortress which was ready in 1618 during the reign of Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt. The Tower was designed by Engineer Vittorio Cassar. It was armed by eight 32 pounder, and ten 24 pounder guns. It was manned by a garison of 130 men. The heavy guns of Comino Tower played an important role later on in history during the insurrection against French in 1799, when they were used to bombard French positions inside Valletta.

Comino Island

This is the smallest of the inhabited Maltese islands.
Comino takes its name from the cummin herb, one of the few plants that grow wild in the inhospitable top soil of this basically uninhabitable island. For centuries, Comino sat orphaned in the middle of the channel separating Malta and Gozo. Now it is a prized jewel; one of the few places left in the Mediterranean where there are no cars or roads and the land is a wildlife sanctuary.
The indigenous population remains in single figures, and with the exception of the residents of the one hotel, all visitors and day-trippers depart before sunset.
Comino offers the finest bathing, snorkeling and diving for hundreds of miles around.

Gozo Channel line ferries

The ferries are accessible through Cirkewwa, which is situated in the Northern most part of Malta and is easily reachable by bus, being served by a number of routes. Trips usually take 20-25 minutes and the ferries cater for car transfers as well.
(Source:planetware/malta/comino & Gozo.gov.mt )

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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