History notes form 3

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Transcript of History notes form 3

  • Ms.








  • History Form 3


    1. The New City: Valletta

    Fill in the blanks with the following words:

    Imdina, economy, courtyard, Pope Pius V, seawater, Europe, drainage,

    Sicily , Laparelli, Turks, politics, King Philip II, Xebb ir-Ras, Birgu, Grand

    Harbour, La Vallette

    During the Great Siege an important lesson had been learnt because the

    experiences of the Great Siege had shown that if any attacker got hold of the

    "Sciberras" Peninsula (as the Turks did in

    1565), Malta would be lost. Therefore, ____

    ________ decided to eliminate this threat

    by constructing an entirely new fortified city

    on the "Sciberras" (also known as "_______

    ______") Peninsula.

    At the same time La Vallette's wish to have a new centre or city for the Knights

    of Malta would be accomplished. So his idea was to have a new fortified city on

    this Peninsula which could protect better the entrance to the________


    La Vallette, a cultured man with vision, decided that the

    new city should not only serve as a powerful fort, but

    should also become a strongpoint of culture, ________

    and _________ in the world. He therefore decided

    that Valletta should become "a city built by gentlemen

    for gentlemen." In honour of its founder, it was to be

    known as Valletta. It was to become Malta's capital city

    instead of__________.

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    _______ _________ ____ sent his military engineer and famous Italian

    architect Francesco Laparelli (one of the best in Europe at the time) to help in

    the design of the new city and gave the Knights a great deal of money for the

    building of their new city. ______ _______ ___ of Spain and the King

    Sebastian of Portugal also sent money. Other princes sent weapons.

    ________ designed the bastions

    surrounding the new city. At first he

    was going to have winding streets. The

    idea was abandoned and instead he

    chose to have parallel streets crossing

    each other in the form of a grid. Work

    started immediately because the

    Knights wanted to have the city ready as

    soon as possible for it was rumoured

    that the ________ were preparing

    another army to attack on Malta.

    On March 28th 1566, the foundation stone was laid in position by Grand Master

    La Vallette himself. Donations flowed in from all over ________ and the city of

    Valletta soon began to take shape. Thousands of slaves together with specially

    chosen workers from _______ and day labourers from the surrounding villages

    crowded the hills of "Sciberras" Peninsula. The area was levelled and drainage

    was built.

    Laparelli built a garbage disposal and a _________ system. The city was laid

    out on a regular grid-plan with broad underground ditches and channels. This

    meant that the inhabitants could simply throw their garbage into a pit in their

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    _________ and every morning an army of slaves would come round to collect

    the waste. Twice a day, the ditches were flushed with fresh _________ while

    drain water was directed into remote parts of the sea by a separate pipe

    system, thus saving Valletta's inhabitants from the suffocating decay, which

    infested most other European cities.

    The Grid Design

    Also unique, was the "grid-iron," street

    alignment, planned to allow the breezes free

    entry to the city, in order to lower the heat

    during the summer time. In the previous

    capital, "________", the Knights of Malta had

    suffered greatly from the soaring heat of

    those summer months.

    Planning Regulations

    1. Buildings were not allowed to be extended out into the street.

    2. Front gardens and gaps between houses were forbidden.

    3. Every building had to have a sculpture on each corner.

    4. Each house had to be equipped with a well to collect rainwater.

    5. Every house had to be connected to the public drainage system.

    The Maltese Creator of Valletta

    After Laparelli left Malta in 1570, his able Maltese assistant, Glormu Cassar,

    continued the work. Cassar's name, rather more than Laparelli the planner, is

    associated with the city. As a masterpiece of construction, Valletta became a

    centre of political, economic and cultural life in Europe, in which trade,

    handicrafts and the arts flourished.

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    2. Building Valletta

    The Grand Master didnt live to see the completion of

    the new city because he died in 1568. His successor,

    Pietro del Monte continued with the work at the same

    pace. By 1571, the Knights transferred their quarters

    from Vittoriosa (Birgu) to their new capital.

    Glormu Cassar

    Architect Laparelli left Malta in 1570. He was

    replaced by his assistant Glormu Cassar, who had

    spent some months in Rome, where he had observed

    the new style of buildings. Cassar designed and

    supervised most of the early buildings, including the

    Sacra Infermeria, St John's Co-Cathedral, the

    Grandmaster's Palace and the seven Auberges.

    By the 16th century, people from all parts of the island went to live within its

    safe fortifications especially as Mdina, until then Malta's capital, lost much of

    its lure.

    In the ensuing years, the style of Cassar's structures gave way to the more

    lavish palaces and churches with graceful facades and rich sculptural motifs.

    The new city, with its strong fortresses and deep ditches, became a

    fortification of great strategic importance. Based on a more or less uniform

    grid, some of the streets in Valletta fall steeply as you get closer to the tip of

    the peninsula. The stairs in some of the streets do not conform to normal

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    dimensions since they were constructed in a way so as to allow knights in heavy

    armour to be able to climb the steps.

    Match the buildings with their respective name.

    The Sacra Infermeria

    St John's Co-Cathedral

    The Grandmaster's Palace

    Auberge de (of) Castille

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    3. Il-Mandragg

    On the 18th March 1571, Grand Master Pietro del Monte moved the

    headquarters of the Order to the new city Valletta. The last areas to be

    developed in the new city were the Mandraggio, and the area of the Ghetto

    Valley (the area now bounded by Marsamxett Road, St. Sebastian Road, Old

    Bakery Street and St. Christopher Street).

    The development of the Mandraggio was

    delayed because the stone for the

    construction of the city was cut from this

    area, with the main objective of forming a

    sheltered basin within the fortifications.

    The plan was subsequently abandoned, and the area was developed.

    Between 1575 and 1600, a number of

    shacks and rooms were being built in

    the Mandraggio, none of which

    followed any conformity to the grid-

    iron plan of Valletta. Most buildings

    were inhabited by workers who came

    to Valletta during its building boom

    and even later to seek their fortune in

    the new city. Many scraped a living doing any work that could be found. Others

    were unemployed and turned to crime, which was common amongst the poor in

    any European city of the time.

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    The houses in the Mandraggio continued to increase which gave the area a

    totally different ambience from the rest of the city; its streets were nothing

    but a labyrinth of narrow and dark alleys. Poverty and all that goes with it

    prevailed. Due to the height discrepancy, some of the houses close to the

    fortification were as high as eight floors high, while those on higher grounds

    were only of two floors.

    4. Beautiful Valletta

    By the 16th century, Valletta had grown

    into a sizeable city. People from all parts

    of the island went to live within its safe

    fortifications. In the years that

    followed, the style of Cassar's

    structures gave way to the more lavish

    palaces and churches with graceful

    facades and rich sculptural motifs.

    With its brilliant baroque architecture and floodlit bastions, numerous beautiful

    churches, palaces and lively people, Valletta is a delightful city.

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    Glormu Cassar was the architect who continued the work on the city when

    Laparelli left. Combining the two architects work, Valletta remains the beautiful

    and elegant baroque city they imagined. Valletta suffered greatly with World

    War II as well as in the hands of successive governments who perhaps could

    have done more to maintain it but the

    two original architects vision still

    manages to shine through.

    Various restoration projects are in

    progress, in preparation for Valletta

    as European City of Culture in 2018.

    5. Important buildings in the City

    The Palace of the Grand Masters

    The Palace of the Grand Masters, currently known as the Presidential Palace,

    was built in the late 16th century to the design of the Maltese architect Glormu


    The first structure on this site

    was built during the reign of

    Grandmaster Jean de La Cassiere

    (1572-1581) in order to serve as