Sunday, January 8, 2017

Historic Figure: Grand Master Jean de Valette - Valletta, Malta

Grand Master Jean de Valette
Valletta, Malta

N 35° 53.781 E 014° 30.648

Short Description: 

A monument honoring Grand Master Jean de Valette is located on South Street opposite Victory Street in Valletta, Malta.

Long Description:

A 2.5 meter (8') high size bronze statue of Grand Master Jean de Valette is depicts the hero of the siege of Malta and founder of the city of Valletta standing on an irregular shaped stone base. Jean de Valette is wearing the uniform of the Knight Hospitaller which consists of a decorative tunic, over armor, and high knee-length boots. He is holding the plans for the city of Valletta plan in his right hand. His left hand is on the hilt of a sheathed sword that hangs from his left side. and a sword in his left.

The sculpture was created by Joseph Chetcuti and erected in 2012. Between his feet on the circular plinth is the inscription:
Jean de Valette 
Gran Mastru
1557 - 1568

The front of the stone base is inscribed:

A.D. 2012

Grand Master Jean de Valette is the founder of the city of Valletta. He is believed to have been born on February 4, 1495 into a noble family in Quercy, France. He joined the Order Langue de Provence as a Knight Hospitaller at the age of 20, around 1514.

Jean de Valette fought with distinction against the Turks at Rhodes in 1522. However, the Order was was expelled from Rhodes by the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Thereupon, the Order was granted the Maltese Islands by Emperor Charles V. Jean de Valette rose to become the 48th Grand Master of the Knights on August 21, 1557, a position he held until his death to his death in 1568.

As Grand Master, Jean de Valette became the Order's hero and leader when he commanded the resistance against the Ottomans at the Great Siege of Malta in 1565. The the victory, Jean de Valette began to build a fortified city on the Sciberras Peninsula in order to fortify the Order's position in Malta and bind the Knights to the island. The city was established on 28 March 28, 1566 and was named in his honor, La Valletta.

In 2011, Jean de Valette was admitted to the French National Order of the Légion d’Honneur as Chevalier for his long and dedicated service to the dissemination of French culture.

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