St. James Counterguard and Bridge

St. James Counterguard is a massive pentagonal artillery platform that was one of four counterguards designed by the Italian military engineer Giovanni de Medici in 1640, in order to provide added protection to Valletta’s land front. This counterguard was built in the form of a large detached bastion and is similar in many ways to St. John Counterguard. Structurally, it is a solid massif with few internal covered spaces, the main elements of which are vaulted communication passages which link together the tiered artillery platforms, and a 19th century gunpowder magazine. It is also linked to a sally-port in the face of St. James Bastion directly by means of an arched bridge while a ramp, cut through the gorge of the counterscarp around 1735, leads down into the main ditch. The interior of the counterguard houses the offices and vaults of the Central Bank of Malta.