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Building a Sense of Belonging. The Foundation of Valletta in Malta

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Chapter Summary

As early as October 1564, rumours circulated about an attack of the Ottomans on the island of Malta. Originated as a charitable institution for pilgrims in Jerusalem, the Order of the Hospitallers had become military involved in the fights of the crusaders as the conditions in the Holy Land for them got more difficult. The Pope, the King of France, Philip II of Spain and King Sebastian of Portugal all contributed generously. Pope Pius IV also sent his architect Francesco Laparelli da Cortona, assistant of Michelangelo and widely experienced in town planning and military defense. In December 1565, Laparelli presented his proposals to the Council. His original plan for Valletta consisted in a single large avenue with narrow streets, with a 'pleasant and sweet serpentine way' to allow for shelter from sun and winds. But in the end, Laparelli's serpentine streets were replaced with a grid.

Keywords:Jerusalem; Malta; Pope Pius IV; Valletta



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