St. John Bastion and Cavalier

St. John Bastion forms one of the four important and massive bulwarks protecting Valletta’s land front. It is a large pentagonal bulwark largely carved out of the bedrock and was also 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 shoulders 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. John Counterguard, which was built to protect the bastion in 1640. The parapet of St. John Bastion is pierced by six embrasures, the largest examples of their type to have been built in the Hospitaller fortifications of Malta. This bastion had a very heavily consumed masonry fabric, and fissured bedrock, requiring various types of interventions to repair the damaged stonework and remove the rampant spread of vegetation that had taken root on the faces of the bulwark. The terrace platform of the bastion is a popular public garden. Commanding the bastion is a large towering pentagonal cavalier, one of the two central cavaliers dominating the land front defences of Valletta.