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Monument - Fortifications of Valletta
Fortifications of Valletta

At present, Valletta is surrounded by about 5km of fortification walls, built by the Order of St John in about five years time. The Order of St John also built about 15 km of fortification walls around the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett Harbour, evolving and increasing in strength during the 268 years the order was in Malta.

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The direct reason for the fortifications around Valletta was, of course, the Great Siege of 1565. This Ottoman invasion of Malta utterly destroyed the area what is now called the Three Cities, where the Order of St John and the Maltese population had defended themselves against the ottomans.

After the Great Siege a new capital city was needed, and Valletta arose out of the ashes of disaster. These fortification walls are also interpreted as an embodiment of fear, fear of the Ottomans, should they return.At the tip of Valletta stands Fort St Elmo, where already stood a medieval watchtower, before the arrival of the Order of St John in 1530.

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Additional information

St. Michael Bastion, St. andrew Bastion, Vendome Bastion, Fort St. Elmo, St. Lazarus Bastion, St. Christopher Bastion, St. Barbara Bastion, St. Peter and Paul Bastion, St. James Cavalier, St. James Bastion and St. John Bastion together with the great defensive walls, they are all part of the Valletta fortification (1566 - 1571).

A clear view of the second defense line. Directly at Valletta. As long as you have enough money for your men and ammunition, no enemy will capture Valletta.

The defense lines to defend threats from land can be clearly seen on this old map.

The first defensive wall in Floriana. (1635 -1700) The bridge was built in the ditch for the old railway.

From the land, Valletta was only accessible to first pass the Porte des Bombes, and then the gate of Valletta.

Restoration of the Bastion and defensive walls in Floriana (2020).

This Fortifications of Valletta page is part of “The Malta Magazine”.

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