European Capitals – Valletta
France – Capital of the Republic of Malta, Valletta celebrated in 2016 its 450 years. It was in 1566 that the construction of this fortified city began, under the aegis of Jean Parisot de La Valette, 49th Grand Master of the Order of the Hospitallers of Saint John of Jerusalem.
The city was destined to serve as a bulwark against the advance of the Ottomans in Europe, after the terrible siege of Malta in 1565. Previously, only Fort Saint-Elme had been built, built from 1552 on the bases of a fort Fifteenth century, and completed only a month before the Turks came to besiege it. After a heroic resistance and at the cost of many losses, the Knights of Malta succeeded in repelling the invader, sheltered from the powerful fortifications.
From 1572 onwards, once the Ottoman danger was definitely eliminated, the new great master Jean L’Evesque of La Cassière decided to dedicate the cathedral to Saint John the Baptist, patron saint of the Order of the Hospitallers. Designed by the Maltese architect Gerolamo Cassar, the building surprises by its exterior sobriety, which contrasts sharply with the baroque expansion of its interior. At the same time, in the 1570s, Jean L’Evesque de La Cassière considered it necessary to permanently anchor Malta’s temporal power: thus the palace of the great masters of the Order of Malta Today houses the Presidency of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies of the island of Malta.
Finally, the face of Valletta would not be the same without its famous Gallarijas, these typical balconies whose origin is uncertain: borrowing from Turkish, Arab or even Aragonese architecture, built of stone, iron or wood, adorn many facades of the city and give the city a special charm. List of stamps: Palace of the Grand Masters – Gallarija – Cathedral of Saint John – Fort Saint-Elme
Issue Date: 16.03.2017
Designer: Loustal, Favreau
Size: 143 x 135 mm