Marsaskala, sometimes written abbreviated as M'Skala, is a sea-side village in Malta that has grown around the small harbour at the head of Marsaskala Bay, a long narrow inlet also known as Marsaskala Creek. The bay is sheltered to the north by Ras iż-Żonqor, the south-east corner of Malta, and to the south by the headland of Ras il-Gżira.
The parish church is dedicated to Sant Anna (St. Anne) and St Anne's feast is celebrated at the end of July in Marsaskala.
The town has a winter population of 11,892 people (March 2013), but this swells to around 20,000 in summer.
Man inhabited this area thousands of years ago as evidenced by the several archaeological remains found in various areas of Marsaskala. Its Pre-history is normally divided in the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age. Some of the most ancient remains at Marsaskala are undoubtedly the cart-ruts, which are parallel channels formed in the rock face. Some of Malta's cart-ruts, mysteriously, lead straight into the sea. Difficulties and uncertainties still abound as regards their use as well as the time and the way they were made, though it seems that they served to transport heavy burdens from one place to another.
Early Christian catacombs as well as Roman era villa remains, were also discovered in Marsaskala, the latter suggesting that Marsaskala was also a Roman port. Remains of Roman Baths were found in a field at il-Gżira, a rock peninsula behind the Jerma Palace Hotel.
In 1614, 60 Turkish ships carrying 6000 soldiers landed at Marsaskala and launched an attack on the south of Malta. Although the battle was a decisive Christian victory, it brought back fear and terrifying memories of the 1565 Great Siege of Malta. Marsaskala's vulnerability to sea borne attacks was reduced by the building of Saint Thomas Tower later in that same year. The tower was financed by Grandmaster Alof de Wignacourt and it is one of a series of Wignacourt towers. St Thomas Tower continued to be used for military purposes until the 19th century and it has been recently restored.
In 1659, Żonqor Tower, one of 13 De Redin towers was built in the area. This tower was demolished in the nineteenth century by British military engineers. No traces of it can be seen anymore and a pillbox now stands in its place. Marsaskala has various other towers, but these were built privately by wealthy residents as fortified houses. These include Mamo Tower, Tal-Buttar Tower and Tal-Gardiel Tower.
In 1715, Briconet Redoubt was built by the Order and it is now well preserved and is used as a police station. A second redoubt was built close to Marsaskala but it was destroyed in 1915.
In 1882, the British built Żonqor Battery but it was not used a lot since it was unsuitable for proper defence.
In 2003, U.S. amateur archaeologist Bob Cornuke caused a controversy with statements written in his book The Lost Shipwreck of St. Paul, where he claimed that the Apostle Paul had been shipwrecked in St Thomas' Bay, in Marsaskala. These claims were rebuked by other experts.
As a monument over the more recent Maltese history are the remains of the previous four-star Corinthia Jerma Palace Hotel in Marsaskala at the very tip of mainland Ras il-Gżira. The hotel was owned by Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company for 25 years and was closed in March 2007. (Wiki)