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Title: The Co-Cathedral of St. John : formerly the Conventual Church of the Order of Malta, and its art treasures
Authors: Sammut, Edward
Keywords: St John’s Co-Cathedral (Valletta, Malta)
Church buildings -- Malta -- Valletta
Church architecture -- Malta -- Valletta
Church decoration and ornament -- Malta -- Valletta
Christian art and symbolism -- Malta -- Valletta
Issue Date: 1950
Publisher: Progress Press
Citation: Sammut, E. (1950). The Co-Cathedral of St. John : formerly the Conventual Church of the Order of Malta, and its art treasures. Malta: Progress Press.
Abstract: When, on the 8th of September, 1565, the Great Siege Qf Malta, which was already four months old, was at last lifted, the military power of the Order of St. John, which had been residing in the Island since 1530, was at its last gasp. All the fortifications, erected at considerable trouble and expense, lay in ruins and more than sixty per cent of the defenders had become casualties, mostly fatal. The Ottoman power, on the other hand, though tempo- rarily checked, was still as formidable as ever and there could be no doubt that Suleiman the Magnificent or, for that matter, any of his captains, would snatch at ,the first ,opportunity to take their revenge on the Knights. It was plain that, if the Order were to remain in Malta, .something radical had to be done and it was therefore decided, not without a certain amount of bickering and hesitation among various factions of the Order, to build a new fortified city on the strip of land overlooking the two principal harbours. The Pope and most of the reigning Princes of Europe approved of the scheme and Cosimo dei Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, sent his principal architect, Francesco Laparelli da Cortona, to take charge of the work. Barely six months after the end of the siege, on the 28th ,of March, 1566, the first stone of the new city was laid by -Grand Master La Valette, whose name it was to bear. The speed with which the formidable ramparts of Valletta, totalling more than two miles in length, were raised, seems incredible even in an age which has become 'accustomed to every form of organized and mechanized labour. In fact, within five years, not only were the bastio:qs themselves complete, but the Auberges were so far advance:d that Grand Master Pietro del Monte, La Valette's successor, decided it was high time to transfer from Vittoriosa to the new city. [excerpt from the introduction]
Description: Copy no. 501058 Ġużè Cassar Pullicino bequest.
Appears in Collections:Melitensia Works - ERCFAArc

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