About Valletta

VallettaHistory of Valletta, Malta. In 1565 when the Knights of St John celebrated the victory of the Great Siege they decided that a new city needs to be built to protect the island of Malta from any further invasions so the Grand master of the time Jean Parisot de Valette decided that Humilissima Civitas Valletta (the humble city of Valletta) will be located on the central easterly point of Malta and be built on the Sceberras peninsula. On the 28th of March 1566 La Valette placed the first stone in `Our lady of Victories’ church which can be found on South Street. He never got to see his city built as he died in 1568 he was entombed in the church but then his remains where moved to St John’s co cathedral where all the other Grandmasters rest.

This city was built with the financial help of Pope Pius V and Phillip II of Spain, the Vatican also sent Francesco Laperelli who was a military engineer to draw up the necessary plans. In 1571 the Knights of St John relocated the headquarters into Valletta from Birgu this is when Valletta replaced Mdina as the Capital City.

The style of Valletta is mostly Baroque, there are other influences such as Mannerist and Neo-Classical. The first structure to be built were the bastions and other important buildings when Laperelli left Malta in 1570. His assistant Gerolamo Cassar supervised, designed and complete many of her buildings such as the St John’s Cathedral, Sacra Infermeria which is currently known as the Mediterranean Conference Centre, the Magisterial Palace and the seven Auberges. In Valletta you can find 20 catholic churches 1 is Cathedral and 1 is a Basilica all these churches where built between 1566 and 1765 and each have a story to tell .

The palaces of Valletta are magnificent there are 10 in total nine which have been converted to government offices but only one is still privately owned which is Casa Rocco Piccola by Maltese nobility this palace is open to the public. Among the churches and palaces there is also the forts to see particularly Fort St Elmo which was a watch tower before the Turks try to invade Malta and the theatres were Manuel Theatre is one of the oldest in Europe. World War II did scar Valletta majorly with the fall of The Royal Opera house in 1942 today this site and surrounding areas are undergoing a major facelift after 60 years of arguments and protests in parliament.

Valletta has a lot of other places of interest to offer there are the museums the gardens and the streets and the stairs which were designed so the Knights found them easy to climb in their full armour. Strait Street is the one street that became popular amongst the British services for all the misdemeanours it had to offer them, today it is a quiet street with a story or few to tell. Every time I go into Valletta it never seize to amaze me and as a highly imaginative person I can see why Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli said when he visited our great fortress city in 1883 she is “A city of palaces built by gentlemen for gentlemen”.