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[WATCH] Aerial shots of Floriana fortifications, now restored back to their glory

4,500 square metres of Crucifix Hill, Floriana bastions ready from restoration

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
9 January 2018, 8:28am
A total of 4,500 square metres of bastion walls that once protected Valletta from marauders, have been restored after years of structural neglect.

The works, totalling €600,000 in cost, were carried out under the supervision of the Restoration Directorate, and are still ongoing.

 “It is essential to preserve our past so that our future generations will be able to appreciate our country’s heritage,” culture and justice minister Owen Bonnici said during a visit near Crucifix Hill in Floriana.

The bastions may no longer serve their principal purpose as fortifications, but they remain representative of the island’s historical legacy as a military base for the Knights of the Order of the St John and later the British.

The walls overlooking the Grand Harbour and the cruiseliner terminal were in particularly bad shape, with the stone having deteriorated, pieces falling off, and rock fracturing. These bastions form part of the ones designed by military engineer Pietro Paolo Floriani in 1635, when Antoine de Paule was Grand Master (1622-36), in order to protect Valletta from artillery attacks the range of which was then ever-increasing. The Floriana bastions are around 800 metres away from the ones in Valletta.

Minister Owen Bonnici (second from right) with (l-r) Floriana mayor Davinia Sammut Hili, parliamentary secretaries Deo Debattista and Silvio Parnis
Minister Owen Bonnici (second from right) with (l-r) Floriana mayor Davinia Sammut Hili, parliamentary secretaries Deo Debattista and Silvio Parnis
The works carried out included the changing of stones, pointing, the consolidation of deteriorated stones, and interventions to strengthen the rock.

A lot of work was done on third-party properties, with special precautions taken to ensure that no damage was done. Platforms were built to isolate the yards, which allowed for scaffolding to be built upon them,

 

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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