St. James Bastion and Cavalier

 St. James Bastion forms one of the four important and massive bulwarks protecting Valletta’s land front defences. It is largely carved out of the bedrock and was one of the first bulwarks to be completed after the initiation of the construction of the fortified city in 1566. The bastion contains two low batteries (piazze basse) in its flanks, each protected by a massive rounded orillion believed to have been grafted onto the shoulder of the bastion around 1582. A sally-port opening in the right face of the bastion provided a means of communication, via an arched bridge, to St. James Counterguard built to protect the bastion in 1640. St. James Bastion, unlike its St. John Bastion, does not retain its original parapet. This bastion had a very heavily consumed masonry fabric, and an eroded and fissured bedrock, requiring various types of interventions to repair the damaged sections, in places even requiring the pinning of unstable sections of the rock-face with steel ties. Commanding the bastion is a large towering pentagonal cavalier, one of the two central cavaliers dominating the land front defences of Valletta. St. James Cavalier houses the Centre for Creativity and is a popular cultural institution.