Valletta, the fortress of the Knights of the Order of Malta

Posted by on May 26, 2012

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Malta can be described as a mythical place with megaliths and dungeons. You can find streets going to and from the towns and villages. Sometimes it gets crowded as people are trying to look into the Renaissance cathedrals and Baroque palaces. The countryside of Malta is dotted with some of the oldest structures in the world. It can be said that the whole country is an open air museum. The archipelago is located in the center of the Mediterranean Sea. It is in the south of Sicily and north of Africa. Malta is the largest island and it is a cultural, commercial and political center. Gozo is another island that is rural and mainly characterized by fishing. It is also involved into tourism and agriculture. Valleta is one of the provinces in Malta with sunny weather and beaches. For those looking for fun during the night, this is the perfect spot to go to.

Valletta! Fort St. Angelo and the Grand Harbour Malta

Valletta! Fort St. Angelo and the Grand Harbour Malta

The history of Valleta goes back several thousand years. There are a lot of great things to see and do, not just here but in the whole of Malta. There are temples and palaces found in the area just to name a few. Based on history, the knights had created three fortresses to protect the main island. They had withstood the Ottoman until the group left the island. The knights managed to also protect the Fort St. Elmo which is considered to be a great harbor in Malta. It was designed as a fortress but dominated by the hill where Ottomans placed their weapons.

View of the Fortress and city of Valletta inside the Ground Harbour

View of the Fortress and city of Valletta inside the Ground Harbour

It was reconstructed right away because the Grand Master of Vallete considered it to be very important. The design was similar to other fortresses. During the British rule, it was incorporated with other forts. The siege put the knights in the pedestal. They built a new town with strategic location and named it La Valetta. The design was entrusted to a military engineer that made new walls and other changes.

Valletta, Malta

Valletta, Malta

The defense of Valletta from attacks was divided in two bastions – St. John and St. James. Solid bastions were complemented by effective artillery that would ensure that the whole city was protected. Other elements of warfare would require exercise, strength and courage. Of course its effectiveness relied upon statistic and creation of metals. The ottomans didn’t make a second attempt to conquer the country. During the 17th century, Valletta was surrendered to the French without waging any wars. Today there are a lot of sites in the city which showcase the history of the Knights of Malta. There are guided tours that you can join that would help you learn more about the top sites in the area. It is about time to see the fortresses that once stood to protect Malta.

Valletta photo 1: anspics, Valletta photo 2: matatabby, Valletta photo 3: Thomas Alan,

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