The National Library of Malta will hold its first public lecture on ‘The Building of a new City – Valletta’ to be delivered by Perit Claude Busuttil. The lecture will focus on the planning and building of the new city and the Cortonese architect Francesco Laparelli.
It was Francesco Laparelli da Cortona who actually took the first decisions regarding the urban plan of the new city. Thus the area within the fortifications of Mount Sceberras was divided with a grid of twenty streets, all straight. Eight main longitudinal thoroughfares divided the peninsula from south-west to north-east whilst another twelve transverse streets intersected the same linking the two ports. It seems that the urban plan was already in place by the end of 1566 during the construction of the church of Our Lady of Victory, the first Grand Master's Palace and the house of Laparelli. Meanwhile the building of the Valletta fortifications had already started to take shape only a few months after works had been inaugurated by Grand Master Jean de Valette in March of the same year.
This lecture forms part of a series of 8 public lectures on Urban Landscapes spanning over 2018 and 2019. Entitled ‘Cities, Harbours, and Artefacts: transformations of an early modern landscape’, these series of public lectures are coordinated by Mevrick Spiteri and Maroma Camilleri.
The first lecture will be held on Friday 30 November 2018 at 18:30. Admission to the lectures is free. Public lectures will be followed by light refreshments.
Lecture 2: 17 December 2018 at 18:30
'Studying Ceramics in Early Modern Malta - Archival and Archaeological Sources' by Nathaniel Cutajar
Lecture 3: 30 January 2019 at 18:30
'Properties of the Order of St John - Structural transformations in Valletta's houses by Mevrick Spiteri
Lecture 4: 28 February 2019 at 18:30
'Maritime Spaces - Human Choices' by Prof. Timmy Gambin
Lecture 5: 26 March 2019 at 18:30
'Early Sales of Plots of Land in Valletta' by Prof. Stanley Fiorini
Lecture 6: 24 April 2019 at 18:30
'Fortress Aesthetics and its Silent Poetry - The Maltese Fortified Landscape and its Representation in Art' by Dr Stephen C. Spiteri
Lecture 7: 29 May 2019 at 18:30
'Of Markets and Melting-Pots - Commercial spaces in Early Modern Valletta by Christian Mifsud
Lecture 8: 28 June 2019 at 18:30
'Malta's harbour in 1798 - the transformation of a new urban landscape' by Mevrick Spiteri