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Valletta, named after its founder, Grand Master of the Order of St John, Jean Parisot de Valette, was built after the Great Siege of 1565 with the financial help of a Christendom grateful for the defeat of Suleiman’s war machine.

The new fortress was designed by the papal engineer Francesco Laparelli and incorporated most of the ingredients of the Italian bastioned system of fortification. Stretched out over the Sciberras peninsula, its strongest defences were laid out across the highest part of the promontory and comprised four strong bastions, two cavaliers and a deep rock-hewn ditch. The new city within the  fortified enclosure was built to a grid pattern with a systematic distribution and division of streets, piazza, and pomerium. Laparelli’s design also incorporated an arsenal and a manderaggio which, however, were never built.