Photo of The City Gate of Valletta
City gate of Valletta
The first gate which stood on the site was Porta San Giorgio, which was built in 1569 to designs of either Francesco Laparelli or Girolamo Cassar.
Around 1586 the gate was renamed ” Porta Reale”.
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The gate was rebuilt in 1633, probably to designs of Tommaso Dingli.
During the French blockade it was renamed “Porte Nationale”
Under British rule in 1800 its name reverted to “Porta Reale”.
In 1853 a larger gate with the name Kingsgate or Kingsway was built.
All gates are built in conjunction with the Valletta fortification. The gate was the only access to the mainland and was therefore called the Porta di terra (land gate). But after passing the gate, the following line of defense follows at Floriana.
The gate was replaced by a larger gate, which was also known as "Kingsgate" or "Kingsway" . These first three gates were all fortified, forming part of Valletta's city walls. The gate was also informally called the Porta di terra (meaning "land gate") since it was the only landward approach to the city.
Then the gate is replaced in 1964 by a gate designed by Alziro Bergonzo.
The last fortified gate was demolished in 1964, being replaced by a Futurist gate designed by Alziro Bergonzo. This gate was then demolished in 2011, and it was replaced by Piano's gate which was completed in 2014.
The present gate of Valletta, was built between 2011 and 2014 to designs of the Italian architect Renzo Piano. This project comprised a new bridge, remodelled open entrance (instead of a gate), monumental stairs leading up to the bastions, the new parliament building and the installation of an open-air theatre in the ruins of the old opera house.
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The City Gate before 1964.
The old gate with railroad and ditch.
The gate in the period 1964 - 2011
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