DescriptionCittà Notabile (also known as Citta’ vecchia and Mdina) was the old capital of Malta before the arrival of the knights to Malta in 1530. Its landlocked position in the centre of the island and obsolete medieval walls meant that it held very little military advantage for the knights who preferred to settle down inside the harbour close to their fleet of galleys. Little resources were expanded on the improvement of its defences and the town survived the Turkish invasion of 1565 largely because the Turks chose to ignore it. A new lease of life was given to the old city during the reign of Grand Master Martin de Redin who undertook the repairs to the various ramparts and initiated the construction of new fortifications, including a large central bastion on the land front. His death in 1660 brought the project to an abrupt halt while the earthquake of 1693 severely damaged many buildings inside the walls. A true revival of the old city really came with the arrival of French military engineers in the early 18th century, particularly during the reign of Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena and Citta’ Notabile owes its final form, its palaces, fortifications, and Baroque buildings and gateways, to the works undertaken during this period of its history. The works were undertaken by the Order’s military engineer Charles François de Mondion. The last addition to the defences, a bastion erected to the rear of the cathedral, was made in 1739. The drawing shows Citta’ Notabile around the end of the eighteenth century.
Military Architecture, Malta Member Since December 2010 Artist Statement MilitaryArchitecture.com has been set up to focus on and promote the study of military architecture and fortification around the world. It seeks to bring together and build an extensive international corpus of information, data, and ideas – research papers, lectures, videos, forums, conferences, publications, etc., – that are freely available on the web and make these educational resources available to researchers and students through direct internet access via this website. The overriding aim is an educational one, aimed at the promotion of scholarship in the study and teaching of military architecture and the history of fortification.
Military Architecture.com is committed to diffusing a proper understanding of the art and science of fortress building to as wide an international audience as possible. MilitaryArchitecture.com seeks, primarily, to focus the attention of scholars, researchers, and the public alike on the fortress as a structure, and on fortifications as a works of architecture and engineering, emphasizing the art and science, and history, of fortress design, fortress construction and building techniques, and materials, as well as provide information on modern efforts at conservation and restoration of historic fortified buildings and sites around the world.