Poliorcetics (5) Valleta

Plan des Forteresse de Vallete, bourg et sangle de Malte... H Boulange fe. 1645. An engraving representing the city in the XVIIth century, that can be found on gallica.bnf.fr with the signature GE C2362

Plan des Forteresse de Vallete, bourg et sangle de Malte… H Boulange fe. 1645. An engraving representing the city in the XVIIth century, that can be found on gallica.bnf.fr with the signature GE C2362

Coming from Spain Valleta is an interesting city; during the XIXth century most of the Spanish cities demolished their walls to create ensanches, urban extensions with regular layouts in continuity with the old cities. But in Valleta they have had both the city walls remaining in place and the urban extensions, which have managed to fit between bastions. The 1645 view shows the situation of the old city and a prevision for an extension towards the hinterland which has been built.

No doubt, the role of Malta in the Mediterranean, as an island with clear geostrategic qualities (just think of the “unsinkable aircraft carrier” of the British during WWII) has led to a lesser priority to destroy fortifications as compared to other regions. It is a wonderful place to see renaissance and baroque urban fortresses, and a city from the same moments which is well conserved and extremely attractive for photography.

St Angel Castle in the 1645 engraving

St Angel Castle in the 1645 engraving

Valet1

St Angel’s Castle as it can be seen from central Valleta nowadays

What was to become the "new city", today's Floriana

What was to become the “new city”, today’s Floriana

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The main gate to the old city from Floriana. You can notice the deep moat, and the much more recent gate

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A view of the eastern coast of the main penninsula

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