Little Turtle is pleased to see how well restoration to the Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta is coming along. After bombings during the Second World War, the original Royal Opera House, completed in 1866, came crashing down. Various restoration projects were planned over the decades but went without implementation until 2008. Considering the importance of cultural and historical landmarks such as this gorgeous old theatre, Little Turtle couldn’t be happier!
Yesterday’s mysterious statue – revealed! He was Jean de Valette, a French nobleman and Gran Mason (also known as a Grand Master) of the Knights Hospitaller. He commissioned the building of Valletta, now Malta’s capital city, after defending the island from the Turks at the Siege of Malta – a defeat which proved the Ottoman Empire was not invincible. Europeans followed his example and stopped fighting each other, instead banding together to fight the Ottomans. Their alliance resulted in the resounding defeat of the Ottoman Empire’s main fleet at the Battle of Lepanto six years after the Siege of Malta, and today you learned a thing.
(Little Turtle would like to point out that the dates on the statue reflect the years Jean de Valette was a Gran Mason, not his birth and death.)
Clearly this man is a fearless leader or a great builder or some kind of visionary? Your hint: the Maltese cross and the symbol for his order are the same – but who was he? Find out next time!
Little Turtle is a little disappointed with this photo. It’s hard to tell exactly how very, very deep this excavation goes – for reference, look across to those awnings, or down to the far left at that construction equipment (back hoe? digger? Little Turtle doesn’t know, and neither does The Girl). When the wind picked up, The Girl snatched Little Turtle back from the edge of this bridge in Valletta, Malta very quickly. This project is one of many restoration projects around Valletta, and LT can’t wait to see them finished, especially the opera house.
Little Turtle is amazed that the beautiful Triton Fountain was built to decorate a bus terminus, even if it is the central terminus in the capital city of Valletta, Malta. The elaborate stonework and styling of the mermen make it seem much older than the late 1950s!
After walking all the way from San Ġiljan to Sliema, The Guy, The Girl, and Little Turtle take the ferry from Sliema to Valletta. There was a gorgeous view and The Girl was grateful for The Guy’s insistence that she buy some proper sunglasses. Can you believe that she forgot to pack sunglasses?