Tuesday, August 19, 2008

440th year from the anniversary of the death of Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Valette

This month in Valletta, Malta there will be celebrations for this great Grand Master as it's the 440th year from his death.
He was a Knight of St. John, joining the order in the Langue de Provence, and fought with distinction against the Turks at Rhodes. As Grand Master, Valette became the Order's hero and most illustrious leader, commanding the resistance against the Ottomans at the Great Siege of Malta in 1565, widely regarded as one the greatest sieges of all time. He became Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller on 21 August 1557. After the great siege, he commissioned the construction of the new city of Valletta in 1566, laying the first stone with his own hands. This took place on the slopes of Mount Sciberras, where the flower of the Turkish army had died whilst trying to storm Fort St.Elmo, a fort which the Turks thought would fall within three or four days, but which, due to the bravery of the defenders, held out for 30 days.
The city named after its founder - Humilissima Civitas Vallettae - became known as the most aristocratic and exclusive fortress in Europe - a city most often referred to as "Superbissima" - the "Most Proud". Valletta remains the Maltese capital to this day.
Jean Parisot de la Valette died peacefully in 1568 before the completion of the city. His tomb (in the form of a sarcophagus) can be found in the Crypt of the St John's Co-Cathedral, situated within the walls of Valletta. The inscription on his tomb, which was composed by his Latin Secretary, Sir Oliver Starkey, the last Knight of the English Langue at the time of the Great Siege, states in Latin:


marie6 said...

Very interesting, do you know what kind of celebrations will be held and when?

Jane Hards Photography said...

This was a fascinating pst.

* berzy * said...

Nice piece of history for Malta and the capital Valletta.

A very good article.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dina, this is Antonio from the EF Education international school in Malta. I d like to ask you please if you can insert a link to EF Malta in your web site as
EF Malta http://www.ef-italia.it/malta/ .
I will really appreciate for that. My direct email is Antonio.Leonetti@ef.com

Thank you so much.