With its bastions and ramparts, Mdina comes across largely as a fortess from the gunpowder age – a Baroque fortified city with its triumphal entrances, sleek ramparts and outer works. Only a few elements betray its much greater antiquity. A closer look at the city’s walls, both above and below ground, reveals a different picture, one that tells the story of a complex and sophisticated defensive system developed and updated continually in the centuries before the arrival of the Knights of St John.
The lecture will explore the historical, architectural, and archaeological evidence and the way these three elements can be brought together to enable a fuller understanding of the fortifications of the ‘Silent City’ prior to the arrival of the Knights of St John in 1530.Dr Stephen C. Spiteri works in heritage conservation and is Superintendent of Fortifications in the Restoration Unit, Works Division, at the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs. His interest in the military aspects of Maltese history has led to a number of books and papers on the fortifications of Malta and on the military organisation of the Knights of St John. His most recent publication is The Art of Fortress Building in Hospitaller Malta (2008).
The lecture will take place on Thursday 11th December at 6 pm at Din l-Art Helwa, 133 Melita Street, Valletta. Those interested in attending are advised to be seated by 5.45 pm. Entrance is free of charge but donations to Din l-Art Helwa’s many restoration projects are welcome.