Military Architecture in Baroque Malta

The International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta is offering a two-week Summer School on the military architecture of the Baroque age entitled Hospitaller Malta – Bastion of the Christian World, to be held at the Valletta Campus of the University of Malta, 3-14 June 2013.

The aim of this program - which is co-ordinated by Professor Denis De Lucca - is to introduce participants to the theoretical and practical aspects of the splendid early modern artillery fortifications of Malta, which were built by the ruling Hospitaller Knights of St John the Baptist during the period 1530-1798. The course lectures, by specialists in the field from various European and American universities, will also attempt to place these still-visible examples of military architecture in their proper historical, philosophical, mathematical, medical, technical and representational context so as to enable the participants to relate the fortifications of Malta with what had been built in the former abode of the Knights in Rhodes and what was now being built in the Christian world of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries where fortifications were mushrooming everywhere in an age described by the Italian diplomat Fulvo Testi as the ‘age of the soldier.’ Although primarily built by a religious order of hardened warrior monks to protect Christendom from the Turkish threat, the powerful bastions of Malta were also intended to project the prestige and aristocratic family connections of the Grand Masters who commissioned them and the formidable military engineers who designed them, in the context of an ever-changing scenario of alliances and wars that characterized the courtly culture of Baroque Europe.

Besides having forty-five contact hours of lectures and debates, course participants will also have the opportunity to experience early modern military architecture during a number of field trips which will be introduced by an afternoon cruise of the heavily-fortified cities of Valletta, Vittoriosa and Senglea bordering the once-famous Grand Harbour of Malta. These field trips will also extended towards the end of the course by guided optional tours to early modern fortifications situated on the sister island of Gozo and south-east Sicily.

Further information can be found on the website of the International Institute for Baroque Studies at  http://www.um.edu.mt/imp/military_architecture

For further information on how to apply please send e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone




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