St. John Cavalier and Curtain of France

St. John Bastion is commanded to its rear by a large, two-tiered cavalier which was designed to serve as a towering artillery platform. The present configuration of the cavalier appears to date to the early 1720s when it was rebuilt and altered to the design of the French military engineer Charles François de Mondion. Some minor alterations, particularly to the parapets and embrasures were made by the British military in the course of the early 19th century. Presently, St. John Cavalier houses the local branch of the Scout Association. Adjoining the bastion and cavalier stands the Curtain of France (or French Curtain as it is sometimes called) which is the central curtain linking the two main bastions making up the land front defences of Birgu. This curtain was originally backed by a raised platform that was removed in the course of the early 20th century to make space for a larger public square. The curtain also suffered extensive damage from aerial bombing in World War Two, resulting in a large central breach. This damage was eventually repaired in the decades after the War when the breach was plugged in with masonry. The ERDF 039 project has sought to repair and restore the consumed masonry fabric of the cavalier and curtain.