Bastioned Enceinte, Ditch and Covertway

Cittadella’s bastioned enceinte was built from around 1600 to 1622, replacing the southern and most vulnerable section of an earlier medieval perimeter. The new ramparts were designed by the Italian military engineer Giovanni Rinaldini and consisted of a central bastion linked by curtains two demi-bastions and stiffened by two small cavaliers. Externally, the enceinte was enveloped by a low ditch, a covertway and a very steep glacis. With the exception of the glacis, all the original elements have survived largely intact, making the Cittadella one of the most complete and authentic early-seventeenth century bastioned fortification systems to be seen in the Maltese islands. Built largely of hardstone, the masonry fabric was nonetheless consumed through erosion and other pathological factors and required restoration, while the ditch was engulfed in rampant vegetation and the covertway and counterscarp badly damaged and consumed.