Description By the beginning of the eighteenth century the greatest threat posed to Valletta was seen to come from the Isolotto, a small leaf-shaped island on which was located the quarantine hospital and in 1723/24 work was commenced on a fort to fortify the location and deny the place t the enemy in the event of an invasion. Originally designed by the French engineer Ren Jacob de Tign in 1715, the final design of Fort Manoel, as it was named, was produced by Charles Franois de Mondion, during his term as the Orders resident military engineer in charge of works of fortification and defence. Financed by the then grand master, Antonio Manoel de Vilhena, in whose honour it was named, Fort Manoel was designed as a classic square fort with four corner bastions, a ravelin, a tenaille, a covertway, and a glacis. Its low silhouette, system of bastioned trace making the widest use of crossfire to sweep the approaches, together with its aggressive outerworks and countermines, was then heavily influenced by the cncepts of French military architecture. In 1761, a delegation of visiting French military engineers, called to review the islands fortifications described it as a model du fortification fait avec soin.
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