St James Vedette, Valletta

October 6, 2011

This is one of a number of vedettes (watchposts) constructed at strategic points along the bastions. It is located on the Valletta bastions opposite the Central Bank of Malta and St James Cavalier. These vedettes, known as gardjoli in Maltese, were constructed by the Order of St John at strategic points along the bastions.

This watchpost commands sweeping views of the Grand Harbour and the ‘Three Cities’, and down towards Floriana. Manoel Island can also be seen on the other side of the peninsula. It is located on part of the Valletta defences known as St James Echaugette. These were not part of Laparelli’s plans for the defence of Valletta but were added in the eighteenth century.

This gardjola has been adopted as Din l-Art Helwa’s logo.

Restoration of this monument commenced in 1995, when a survey showed serious cracks in the structure from the dome to the foundations within the bastions, and large areas of stonework needed replacement. Stones that were dismantled were numbered and the supporting bastion had to be repaired. The final phase involved rebuilding the watchpost using the original stone and substituting the severely damaged stones with similar material.

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