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Castellania (Valletta)

castellania valletta waterfront, castellania valletta capital
The Castellania Maltese: Il-Kastellanija; Italian: La Castellania, officially known as the Castellania Palace Italian: Palazzo Castellania; Maltese: Il-Palazz Kastellanja, is a former courthouse and prison in Valletta, Malta It was built by the Order of St John between 1757a and 1760, on the site of an earlier courthouse which had been built in 1572

The building was built in the Baroque style to designs of the architects Francesco Zerafa and Giuseppe Bonici It is a prominent building in Merchants Street, having an ornate façade with an elaborate marble centrepiece Features of the interior include former court halls, a chapel, prison cells, a statue of Lady Justice at the main staircase and an ornate fountain in the courtyard

From the late 18th to the early 19th century, the building was also known by a number of names, including the Palazzo del Tribunale, the Palais de Justice and the Gran Corte della Valletta By the mid-19th century the building was deemed too small, and the courts were gradually moved to Auberge d'Auvergne between 1840 and 1853 The Castellania was then abandoned, before being briefly converted into an exhibition centre, a tenant house and a school

In 1895, the building was converted into the head office of the Public Health Department The department was eventually succeeded by Malta's health ministry currently known as the Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care, which is still housed in the Castellania The building's ground floor contains a number of shops, while the belongings of Sir Themistocles Zammit's laboratory are now housed at the second floor and is open to the public by appointment as The Brucellosis Museum

Contents

  • 1 History
    • 11 Background
    • 12 Construction and use as a courthouse
    • 13 Department and Ministry for Health
  • 2 Architecture
    • 21 Exterior
    • 22 Interior
  • 3 Legacy
    • 31 Commemorative coins
  • 4 See also
  • 5 Notes
  • 6 References
  • 7 Further reading

Historyedit

Backgroundedit

A prison cell in the Castellania

The Magna Curia Castellania Italian: Gran Corte della Castellania; English: High Court of the Castellania1, was the courts and tribunals during the rule of the Order of St John23 The institution originates from Rhodes,4 then known as Pragmaticæ Rhodiæ, and remained active until the expulsion of the Order from the island in 152256

The institution was established in Malta after the arrival of the Order in 1533, during the magistracy of Grandmaster Philippe de L'Isle-Adam78 and it is sometimes distinguishably known as the Magnæ Curiæ Castellaniæ Melitensis910 The courts and tribunals were initially housed in a building in Birgu111213 The institution followed the Sicilian legal system,79 known as the Ritus Magnæ Curiæ Siciliæ,14 and was headed by a Castellan who was a knight of the Order151617 He was ceremonially always followed by a page boy carrying a rod on a cushion when walking in public, with the rod symbolising his position, earning him the nickname captain of the rod1819

The institution included two judges, one for the civil court and one for the criminal court42021 In the same building were the Office and Court of Appeals22 The judges of the Castellania were native Maltese and dealt with cases that took place in Valletta, Floriana and the Three Cities232419 On three days per week, the Fiscal Prosecutor brought cases before the judges25 There was also a Cancelliere, who was responsible for receiving and preserving judicial acts, registering the sentences meted out by the judges and supervising the other workers in the courts26 There was a Gran Visconte the Chief of police2728 who coordinated the police,29 and the Capitani di notte who implemented the sentences Other workers included an official who saw that prisoners were treated fairly, those who were responsible for the archives and advocates for legal aid430 Advocates were generally Italian-speaking Maltese, as most knights and foreigners considered the position as for the inferior people31 A report was drafted weekly and sent to the palace of the Grand Master, informing about occurrences presented to the Castellania32

The Castellania was the supreme court of justice of the islands,233334 hence called Gran Corte or the variants in legal documents3536 The Grand Master had the absolute power to preside over the institution23 The Papacy quarreled for a superior decision,37 such as when there was conflict with the court of the Bishop,38 but citing sovereignty of the princely Grand Master it was never conceded3940 With the presence of the Inquisition, the Holy See considered Malta similar to a colony,41 but through the Castellania the Order kept rigid control and sovereignty over Malta42 In its time, the Castellania was considered to be a secular court,43 and the law was amended with the issue of a Bando by the Grand Master44 In military context the knights were not subject to the Castellania, and were instead prosecuted at the Military Tribunal Tribunale Militare, however it received assistance from the higher hierarchy of the Castellania such as from the judge of the criminal court4546

After the Order moved their headquarters to Valletta, a new Castellania was built in the new capital2347 Meanwhile, the original Castellania in Birgu was converted into the Inquisitor's Palace in 1574484950 Apart from a courthouse,5152 the Castellania also served as a prison where suspects and convicts were imprisoned9 The building of a Castellania was made in the original plans of Valletta5354 One of the plans for the Castellania was also to be built within the reserved area of the auberges of the knights, known as the Collacchio, but limiting access to a vast area in Valletta was found to be unpractical and the initiative was abandoned555657 The first Castellania was built in 1572, during the magistracy of Grand Master Jean de la Cassière,958 and was likely designed by Girolamo Cassar, similar to other Valletta buildings of the late 16th century59 The building had a military appearance, with the corners designed with massive quoins, typical of Cassar5660 The Castellania made use of bells to attract people and inform about an event, such as a guilty verdict6162

The first Castellania of Valletta was demolished in the mid-18th century on orders of Grand Master Manuel Pinto da Fonseca,6364 as he despised its austere architecture and wanted a symbolic building of his absolutism65 There are claims based on word of mouth that in the 18th century the courts and tribunals were housed at 254, St Paul's Street now known as Europe House, and occupied by the offices of the European Commission and the European Parliament, plausibly between 1757 and 1760, however this is considered as a hearsay66

Construction and use as a courthouseedit

Inscription commemorating the reconstruction of the Castellania

A new Baroque building was constructed on site of the first Castellania676869 by the same Grand Master,70 creating significant employment71 as Pinto had hoped for,72 with works commencing in 175773a Throughout the course of construction, prisoners were held in a torre near Valletta's Porta Reale,7778 probably the tower of Saint James Cavalier7779 The new Castellania was built to a design by the architect Francesco Zerafa,808182 but he died before its completion, so he was substituted by the architect Giuseppe Bonici8384 Zerafa is accredited for the main design, and for the subjected building he has post mortem established himself as a respected architect85 The edifice was completed in 1760,8687 with its chapel being consecrated on 15 November of that year772788 As a general rule, buildings in Valletta were required to be ready within three-years period from start to completion56 The prisoners were transferred to the new prison three days later, on 18 November 17607789

Local hard limestone was used for construction, however the main portico was decorated with Carrara marble90 Some of the marble used was cannibalized from the ruins of the Temple of Proserpina, an ancient Roman temple in Mtarfa which had been discovered in 1613919293 A craftsman who worked on the decorative sculpture of the Castellania's façade and chapel was Maestro Gian or Giovanni,94 known as Puglisi, a Neapolitan buonavoglia a rower on the galleys9596977577 He would become the first man to be convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging in the new Castellania on 15 December 17609899 With the remodelling of the edifice, Pinto has ubiquitous besprinkle100 his heraldic symbolic couchant crescents,101 in the interior and exterior of the architecture of the building, to convey a message of his absolutism and opulence101102 Sometimes after its completion, artist Tiepolo Favray took record of the notorious building103 Disseminated information among European monarchies compared it to be of proportionate to the expectations of the most powerful nations104

During the 18th century, by hosting the courts and the tribunals, it was known as the Corte della Castellania or the variants and sometimes as the Palazzo del Tribunale105 Among the common public was, however, simply known as the Court of the Grandmaster,106107 probably to simple distinguish it from the courts of the inquisition and of the Bishop38

While the Castellania was in use as a courthouse and a prison, parts of the building were also used for a number of other purposes The Castellan resided in an apartment in the same Castellania16108 The building hosted the Chamber of Commerce and the sittings of the Consulato del Mare in the eighteenth century, which were next to each other109 It also housed the Monte di Sant'Anna until 177327 Individuals or groups could petition at the Castellania through a supplicha; common cases were from practitioners needing a license to perform their occupation2110 and the poor requesting social benefits111 For such purposes and other, the Castellania and related tribunals employed the largest number of clerks At one point, the working environment of the clerks had no standard working hours and their outcome received country-wide criticism; this resulted in counter petitions, with the clients requesting efficient service in less waiting time and the clerks requesting increase in wages By 1780 a bando was introduced to address these issues112 Sea vessels were required by law to register at the Castellania to operate in Maltese waters and each had to pay a minimum ten grani, depending on the size of the vessel and its purpose113 With the Registri Patentarum, the Castellania issued legal patents for galleys to travel from the port of Valletta to other ports and vice versa The patents gave details subject to health inspections which included the names of the merchants and the description of the belongings for trade114 Those galleys coming from non-European ports or from places subjected to possible disease were withheld in quarantine for days and only given permission to mix with the rest of the people once a Pratica was issued by the Commission of Public Health115 Titles of nobility were required to be recognized by the Cancelleria and then registered at the Castellania116

Interior of the Castellania

In an uncommon case, heard at the Castellania in 1774, was when an intersex person, 17-year-old Rosa Mifsud from Luqa, petitioned for a sex change by wearing as a man,117 instead of the female clothing worn ever since born118 Two medical experts were appointed by the court to perform an examination117118 This case gives detail of the use of experts in the field, similar to the late modern period118 The examiners were the Physician-in-Chief during the British period was replaced by the Chief Government Medical Officer119 and a senior surgeon, both working at the Sacra Infermeria118 The Grandmaster took the decision for Mifsud to wear only men clothes from then on117 The decision was taken to the court of appeals, which appointed other seven medical experts that agreed with the observations of the previous two experts118120

Following the Rising of the Priests in 1775, three of the rebellion's leaders were executed without receiving fair trial The death penalty was signed by the Castellano under the orders of Grand Master Francisco Ximenes de Texada9121 Prior to judgement, some of the priests and clerics were locked up in the secretive prisons near the courtroom of the Castallania, some at the Castellania dungeons, and in other Valletta buildings79 All those arrested were recorded on the Libro del Carcerati Della Magna Curia Castellania Among them was Gaetano Mannarino, the leader of the rebellion79122 Some of them were condemned to death by strangulation in the dungeons of the Castellania123124 The whole process went against the conformity of the courts in Malta as the priests were not to be subjected to the Castellania but to the court of the Bishop123121125 Ximenes died a natural death within weeks after the sentences, with some locals believing it was a divine providence for his merciless judgement against the clergy126

Giandonato Rogadeo, an eminent European jurist, was requested to come to Malta in 1781 by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc to address issues related to common law127 Rogadeo went on to author the Diritto Municipale, between the year of his arrival and 1784, a law book to be used for the Castellania1445 During his stay in Malta, he further observed that it was not the law which was just problematic but also the judges and advocates which were corrupt12714 It became the primarily Maltese law of the Code de Rohan, a humane set of laws, which brought significant reformation to criminal law29 The Code incorporated previous laws introduced from former Grand Masters with a more liberal approach It also set standard regulations for advocates, with some flexibility128 It was subsequently amended with the use of bandi29 The Diritto Municipale was abolished in 1854, during the British period, and replaced by a more lenient Criminal Code129

Giuseppe Elia Pace, an advocate and close friend of Mikiel Anton Vassalli, was found guilty of treason during the reign of de Rohan and was sentenced for flogging in Valletta followed by a permanent exile out of Malta130 Vassalli was imprisoned at the Klistanija at the end of the rule of the Order of St John, and was accused of plotting revolutionary ideas during the magistracy of Grand Master Hompesch Vassalli denied the accusations and remained imprisoned Meanwhile, he received visits from the father of Fortunato Panzavecchia While dining together around a table with prison guards, Panzavecchia took notes from conversations he had with Vassalli These notes shed more light on the life of Vassalli, who after his death became the national Maltese linguistic131

Malta was invaded by the French First Republic in June 1798, and the Order was expelled from the island, resulting in the French occupation of Malta47 The French reformed the legal system, with the Magna Curia Castellaniæ being replaced by the Tribunale Provisorio and the Tribunale Civile di Prim'Instanza132 The post of Castellano was abolished, and judges were nominated by the Commission de Gouvernement During the years of French occupation, the building was known as the Palais de Justice9 Not less than three full cases of silver, belonging to the Monte di Pietà but secured at the Castellania, were taken by the French on November 8, 1798, and were melted to create coins to remunerate the Jacobins It was one of a series of similar reasons that consequently triggered a Maltese revolt133 The French law system did not last enough to influence the Maltese courts at the time134

After a successful Maltese uprising against French rule, in 1800 Malta became a British protectorate,9135 with the Castellania becoming known as the Gran Corte della Valletta132 At the request of the Maltese National Congress, the law was once again reformed to the ancient rights and the Code De Rohan135136 Vassalli was imprisoned again during the siege,131 and was kept at the Castellania from 16 September 1800137138 until he was exiled during the British Protectorate on 15 January 1801139140 While in jail at the Castellania, Vassalli read in Arabic, and vocally translated to Maltese, passages of the Quran to other inmates among him The Quran, with a leather cover, was discovered when Vassalli had a spot check by the British in the whereabouts of Porta Reale131

Similar to other public buildings, the Castellania was closed down during the plague outbreak of 1813–14 fr, and it was only used for emergency cases relating to the plague itself9141 When the plague ended, the Castellania was once again used as a courthouse and gaol for accused who were still awaiting trial142 Maltese courts became British subject on 5 October 1813, months before the Treaty of Paris of 1814, when Malta became a Crown colony135 At this point the British, under Governor Thomas Maitland, adopted a codification of a mixed system of Civil Law, which included Roman Law, Code Napoléon and continental law135 Crown Advocate Adrian Dingli was trusted with the task135 These reforms remain the basic of Maltes law today135 By 1814 all forms of torture were abolished, however any freedom possibly leading to a revolt could be suppressed with physical force29143

Francesco Rivarola, the commandant of the police,144 had his office of the Deputy Inspector General of Executive Police stationed within the Castellania145 since 1814 when Malta was gradually adapting as a British colony144 The police office vacated the premises in the 19th century and was moved to the Palace of the Governor145144 As published on the Malta Government Gazette, on 21 October 1829, Malta saw the introduction of a jury system in cases related to murder146

Italian, and to some extant Latin, was used as the main functioning language of the courts throughout the periods of the knights,147 French occupation, British protectorate, until at least 1879 when the courts had already moved out of the building148149 The French language was established as the sole official language, however an exception was given to the courts as Italian prevailed for legal jargon149 Efforts by the British to use English during the protectorate and the early colonisation of Malta failed, mostly due to the resistance by the nobility The supreme court proceeding were suggested to take place with the use of English, to encourage the study and use of English by judges and lawyers, but the efforts were futile148150 Both during the French occupation and English period, the supreme court decisions were published in Italian and the other preferred language of the government; French during the French period and English during the British periods148149 The Maltese language was never discussed to be used at the courts when housed in the Castellania148 The language question was not solved until the 20th century, when the building had for long changed purpose151

The building was no longer regarded as being adequate to function as a courthouse by 1840, during the Government of Sir Henry Bouverie, and that year the Civil Courts were moved to Auberge d'Auvergne88152 The courts of criminal jurisdiction and the office of the police were moved to the auberge in 1853153154 Court archives and documents of registrations of the Castellania were relocated for safekeeping in the auberge88

By a Governor Ordinance No 11 of 5 May 1852 the Castellania had to be converted into a military mess for the Maltese Militia Force155 It is known to have been occupied by the military stationed in Valletta and Floriana by at least 1854156 The building later housed an exhibition centre, a tenant house and a Government High School for Girls119157 It has also served as headquarters of the St John Ambulance Association89

Department and Ministry for Healthedit

The Brucellosis Museum within the Castellania

The building became the seat of the Chief Government Medical Officer in 1885119100 On 10 April 1895 Gerald Strickland transferred into the building the head office of the Public Health Department,27 which in 1937 combined them as the Medical and Health Department158159160

Between 1904 and 1906, the Malta Fever Commission MFC worked in the Castallania,161151 and on 14 June 1905 the physician Sir Themistocles Zammit discovered the cause behind the Mediterranean fever known also by various names while working there162163 The fever was first traced in Malta among British soldiers during the French occupation of Malta164

In June 1904, during the experiments, Zammit learned that a Maltese family of five members became simultaneously ill after consuming fresh unpasteurized milk from goats165166 Zammit decided to purchase healthy goats and tested them,167 and at one point also kept them on the first floor of the Castellania then known as the public health building or the variants Zammit was successful in the discovery of the disease166168 David Bruce, who led the MFC, discouraged the experiments when proposed by Zammit167169 However, when the experiment concluded in the discovery, Bruce tried to discredit Zammit by taking the merit for himself166169 Information about the role of Zammit was kept low profile or ignored The fever was renamed after Bruce, as brucellosis166170 The MFC managed to find cure and ways to eradicate the fever, but had a hard time since there was lack of cooperation with sellers and consumers of milk, some dismissing or ignoring the finding171 It was almost eradicated by 1938, with the enforcement of standard procedures of pasteurizing milk172

The laboratory on the Castellania's second floor which was used by the Malta Fever Commission was restored and converted into The Brucellosis Museum in 1980, and it is now open to the public by appointment173 Since the British period some of the prison cells were modified and converted into government offices and at present still serve this purpose174 Other parts of the Castellania's interior, including the chapel and one of the prison cells, were restored in the 1990s75 The restored cell appears on the front cover of the book Kissing the Gallows: A Cultural History of Crime, Torture and Punishment in Malta, 1600–1798, authored by William Zammit17561 There were further plans to restore the façade in the late 1990s, but nothing materialized176177 The façade is again on plan to be restored as part of a number of projects of the Valletta 2018 - European Capital of Culture178179180 A detailed study for the restoration of the façade has taken place, which gave the way to call for a public tender, and work began in June 2017181

The building appears in a late 19th century photo, when the part on St John Street was used to house the gas office, and the shops of the time in Merchant's Street182183 By the late 19th century, calesse drivers were required to register their vehicles at the Castellania and obtain number plates184

In the early 20th century unknown to everyone including his family, socialist patriot Manwel Dimech was imprisoned by the British at the Castellania until a well planned forced exit from the country on 5 September 1914, which took him in exile and never to come to Malta again185 A plaque in the whereabouts of the Victoria Gate, where Dimech had to pass before boarding on a ship, commemorates the episode186 The imprisonment of Dimech at the Castellania, and his exile abroad, is considered as a landmark injustice during the British period187

Since 1921,9 the building has housed Malta's Public Health Department, until 1998,151188 as a consequence of the given Self-Government 1921-1934 after which a number of high-profile decisions were taken189 It was later decided to become the Ministry for Health,190 which has been known by a number of names throughout the years currently Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care9 The ground floor hosts a number of shops191 which were intended in the original design to generate employment64 The rest of the building is not normally open to the public, except for some special occasions such as the Notte Bianca192 The Richmond Foundation in Malta has used this opportunity to disperse information about psychiatric conditions by setting a stand at the Castellania193 On 10 November 1995, the participants of the Malta Lithium Symposium from 18 different nationalities were hosted at the Castellania by Minister for Social Development, Louis Galea, to meet with government employees of different ministries and departments194 In 2007, Minister Austin Gatt suggested the establishment of a museum of Maltese legal and political history in the building, but nothing materialized195

The building was included on the Antiquities List of 1925, as La Castellania196197 It has been a Grade 1 scheduled property since 1992,191197 and it is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands198199 The court documents, of the Magna Curia Castellania MCC, are now stored and conserved at the Banca Giuratale in Mdina200 The documents form part of the National Archives of Malta and are used by historians as primary sources to research about Malta during the knights of St John201202 The archives of the Acta Originalia of the Magna Curia Castellania AOM include 1,411 volumes, dating from the early years of the rule of the knights203

Architectureedit

Exterioredit

Ornate centrepiece of the main façade

The Castellania is considered as the masterpiece of architecture projected by Grand Master Pinto,73204 being the most original intact of secular High Baroque architecture205206102 and a relic of the early modern period, under the rule of the Order of St John207 It has an elaborate façade designed to be imposing,208 of similar proportions to an auberge,101 and it is a prominent building in the area100209210 It is two stories high,211 being built on three sides of a small courtyard at the rear Although the building has an asymmetrical plan, the main façade in Merchants street is symmetrical212213214 The design prominently includes sumptuous edges, spread over the exterior215

The main façade features a centrepiece includes an arched main doorway, a jotting out symmetric triple concave216 with clustered pilasters,21160 a typical classic feature common to Sicilian Baroque77217 Above the portico is a cornice211216 and an iron-railed balcony which opens into the former criminal hall211 Heraldic crescents from Pinto's coat of arms decorate the main portal,64 and a commemorative plaque with the following inscription is found beneath the balcony218219 It reads:2774

DEO OPT MAX
EMMANUEL PINTO MM ET PRINCEPS
HUNC UTRIUSQUE JUSTITIÆ LOCUM
VETUSTATE PROPE LABENTEM,
AD TERROREM POTIUS, QUAM AD POENAM
A FUNDAMENTIS, ÆRE PROPRIO
ANNI FERE SPATIO
RENOVAVIT AUXIT,
ORNAVIT
MDCCLVIII

Side façade facing St John's Street, with the pillory on the right Nelson's Hook is also visible behind the railing

The balcony is topped by a niche consisting of allegorical figures of Justice and Truth,208220221 as well as sculptures of a winged female figure and a putto98211 Some parts of the sculptures, such as the scales held by Lady Justice, are now missing212213 The empty spaces between these figures contained Pinto's bust and coat of arms, but they were removed during the French occupation of Malta or in the early 19th century191 It is not known how the bust of Pinto looked like, however it may have been either sculpted similar to the bust on the façade of Auberge de Castille or an original work In either case it was probably made of bronze, and stood on a marble plinth which is still there Similar to other busts of the time, it may have been the work of Jacques Saly222

The ground floor in Merchants Street was designed so as to house eight shops,223 four on each side of the main doorway212213 Each shop has another room above, reached by an individual spiral staircase, which space was intended as a home for the owners64 These rooms above the shops have a window each, forming eight square windows on the façade, one above each entrance of a shop211212213 The windows are decorated with the symbolic crescents of Pinto64 At one point, the space of one of the shops was converted to become accessible from the main building to be used as offices for the Ministry for Health224

The side façade along St John's Street is not as ornate as the main façade, and it contains a set of wooden and open balconies The entrance to the Castellania's prison cells is located in the side façade61212213 A number of shops are also found in this street, with differentiated elevation225

The building's corner between Merchants and St John's streets contains a cylindrical pedestal which is about 3 m 98 ft high This originally served as a pillory,226 where prisoners would stand on it one at a time,157 and publicly humiliated207 This also served as public entertainment, where anyone interested was allowed to throw foodstuff at the condemned such as throwing tomatoes and eggs227 More serious offenders were whipped228 or tortured using the corda at this pillory212213

Word of mouth has it that an individual would have his debt paid when a third person or group would offer to pay it off if the bankrupt person undergoes the corda, serving as public entertainment157 Those condemned to death were hanged outside Valletta, in the whereabouts of the Bastion of St Jacob229 According to Louis de Boisgelin fr, the historian of the Order,184 amid the last three days of the Maltese carnival the locals used to recite a Roman tradition at the Castellany by dangling a stone above the pillory instead of a human and hit it which symbolised a temporal halt of punishment during those days230231232

An iron hook is affixed into the wall of the Castellania close to the pillory According to tradition, the hook might have been used to lift the largest bell of the nearby Saint John's Co-Cathedral, but this is now regarded as unlikely233 The hook was most probably used to secure prisoners to the Castellania's pillory234235236 In 1803, Horatio Nelson allegedly passed through the hook in a dare, and the hook became known as Nelson's Hook after the Battle of Trafalgar237 It became a tradition for Royal Navy sailors to bet and buy drinks for shipmates who managed to pass through the hook Junior officers allegedly had a good chance of promotion if they passed through the hook238239240

Interioredit

The former criminal court, originally known as the Aula Criminale della Gran Corte della Castellania241

The interior of the Castellania contains offices, court halls, a chapel and prison cells142 A large allegorical statue representing Lady Justice242 or Astraea wearing a blindfold and holding weighing scales stands at the staircase which lead to the former courtrooms75243244 The statue stands on a pedestal, and its sculptor is unknown245 The staircase is grandiose on its own246

The most decorated room in the building is the Sala Nobile Noble Hall on the first floor, which was originally a courthall,247 and which is now used as a meeting room192248 Here the judge and the nominated College of Advocates sat on a bench, which itself was a platform, wearing typical silk gown clothing of the period The advocates on the bench were nominated and removed at the discretion of the Grand Master When Malta was a British colony a similar short lived system was adopted, on 14 August 1832, known as the King's Counsel The bench consisted of the Advocates of the King, and survived seven years249 This room has coats-of-arms of the Castellani depicted on the upper side of the walls159191 There are 105 coats-of-arms, belonging to the Castellani from 1609 to the last in 1798, after which the position was abolished250

An inscription, found on a cartouche, above the main door of the hall reads:251

HIC SUNT CAUSIDICI HIC ROSTRA
HIC SUBSELLIA IUDIS
QUIS POSUIT PINTI ET PRINCIPIS
ÆQUUS AMOR
meaning, Here are the law courts, the seat of lawyers and
pleaders, set up by Prince Pinto for his love of equity

Statue of Lady Justice at the Castellania

The chapel was dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows also called the Madonna di Pietà or Mater Dolorosa77252 After being deconsecrated in the late 19th century, the room was used for other purposes,159 and only the limestone frame, where used to be the titular painting253 which was retrieved during restoration works in 1991,75 still remains from the chapel's original interior77 An ornate fountain is located at the building's main courtyard,191 above which is a niche with a statue and above it an elaborate sculpture of the coat-of-arms of Pinto254

A number of prison cells are found in the Castellania The cells close to the court rooms hosted new cases and also those awaiting execution142255 Several other cells are located at the rear of the building, and they are surrounded by a courtyard191 These cells generally housed inmates who had to serve a short sentence of less than eight days,255256 usually due to unpaid rent or accumulated debts9 Other convicts were those who refused to bake bread in Valletta which were jailed for a roughly a week110 and those found guilty of stealing to eat which were imprisoned up to three months257 In some cases, individuals were imprisoned for not observing religious norms, such as eating meat on prohibited days107 Prisoners with longer sentences were usually sent to other prisons, usually the Gran Prigione,255256 and if in physical capability were subject to be sent to the galleys37 Medical physicians were requested to visit the inmates in the prison when needed for multiple reasons related to their health and examinations107

The minor inmates at the Castellania were the ones who took care of the general maintenance, cleaning and repair works of the building, while guards were responsible for the allocation of tasks and observing their performance258 Some historical graffiti made by prisoners can be found at the courtyard of the prison191259 At the underground are the dungeons, which are described as an unpleasant place to stay260 By the early 19th century, arrested females awaiting a court decision started to be sent to the women prison at Corradino now a police station rather than accommodated at the Castellania261

The building has a direct passage to a WWII air-raid shelter from a small room at the small courtyard, which was excavated in the early 20th century262

Legacyedit

The building was colloquially referred to in Maltese as il-Kistlanija263264 It inspired the saying għandu wiċċ l-għatba tal-Kistlanija, which is translated as "he has the face of the Castellania's doorstep" This referred to a shameless person showing few or no expressions265 The expression Castellania's doorstep was also used to imply equality in the application of law266

Commemorative coinsedit

La Castellania was depicted on two commemorative coins minted in 2009 by the Central Bank of Malta267268269 The coins show part of the building's façade on the reverse and the coat of arms of Malta on the obverse209270271

See alsoedit

  • Diritto Municipale272

Notesedit

  1. ^ a b c Some sources claim that construction, or at least the plans, began in 174874755676

Referencesedit

  1. ^ Savona-Ventura, Charles 2005 Contemporary Medicine in Malta 1798–1979 Malta: PEG Ltd p 61 ISBN 1-326-64899-3 
  2. ^ a b Degiorgio, Stephen; de Favray, Antoine; Fiorentino, Emmanuel 2004 Antoine Favray 1706–1798: a French artist in Rome, Malta and Constantinople Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti p 20 ISBN 978-99932-10-25-2 
  3. ^ Vella, Andrew P 1964 The Tribunal of the Inquisition in Malta 1 from Indiana University: Royal University of Malta p 18 OCLC 10949991 
  4. ^ a b c Rogadei, Giovanni Donato 1783 Ragionamenti del cavaliere Giandonato Rogadeo sul regolamento della giustizia, e sulle pene in Italian from the Library of Modern and Contemporary History, Rome p 7 
  5. ^ Luttrell, Anthony 1992 The Hospitallers of Rhodes and Their Mediterranean World Ashgate Publishing Company p 123 ISBN 978-0-86078-307-7 
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Further readingedit

  • Façade symbolic lightalso, John Soane, Auctions, façade panels and upper windows frames
  • Vice-Admiralty Court and law system Hough, Barry; Davis, Howard 2010 "Coleridge’s Malta" Coleridge’s Laws: A Study of Coleridge in Malta Open Books Publishers pp 50–106 ISBN 9781906924133 Archived from the original on 30 July 2017 Hough, Barry; Davis, Howard 2008 "Coleridge as Public Secretary in Malta: the Surviving Archives" PDF The Coleridge Bulletin Friends of Coleridge 31: 90–101 Archived from the original PDF on 16 March 2016 Cassar, Paul 20 March 1980 "The First Documented Case of Drug Addiction in Malta - Samuel Taylor Coleridge" PDF Hyphen University of Malta 3 2: 52–61 Archived from the original PDF on 1 August 2017 
  • Balcony details, incl Carrara marble curtain Azzopardi, Joe October 2008 "Traditional Maltese Balconies" Federation of Maltese Language Schools Archived from the original on 9 July 2017 
  • Pirates in the Early British Era: The Malta Connections
  • Valletta map with first Castellania: Mercieca, Simon 2016 The Knights of St John in Malta p 62 ISBN 978-999-57-52-545 
  • Malta Game Fund,p 75, The Voice of the Maltese, TV appearance
  • Health department, Inventories, Castellan info, Zammit info, Castellania auctions Gran Visconte duty
  • Pharmacists and Politics in Malta in the 18th and 19th Centuries++
  • Brass knockers on main door, 1770 incident p 22
  • Ciappara, Frans 2001 Society and the Inquisition in Early Modern Malta Publishers Enterprises Group PEG p 509 ISBN 978-99909-0-273-0 
  • Tonna, Joseph A 1970 "The evolution of palace architecture: Valletta and Mdina" Malta: Atti del XV Congresso di Storia dell'Architettura / Centro di Studi per la Storia dell'Architettura pp 401–412 OCLC 888369154 
  • Lanfranco, G 1983 "Ir-Rozarjati Confraternity of the Rosary Valletta" PDF L-Imnara Rivista tal-Għaqda Maltija tal-Folklor 2 2: 51 Archived from the original PDF on 17 April 2016 
  • Bonello, Giovanni 2003 Histories of Malta 4 Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti p 122 ISBN 978-99932-10-27-6 
  • "The Magna Curia Castellania" PDF Melitensia The Malta Study Center: 5 Spring 2012 Archived from the original PDF on 2 April 2016 
  • De Lucca, Denis 2005 "The Architecture of Valletta" PDF Studio Valletta Brochure p 46 Archived from the original PDF on 26 February 2017 
  • De Lucca, Denis 2000 "Some unexplored Baroque Vernacular Interactions in Maltese Village Environments" Alpe Adria: Ljudska Arhitektura Archived from the original on 30 April 2001 
  • Demand for reform by the Maltese after the French period
  • Cauchi, Stanley 2007 "L-Istemma Alardika tal-Granmastru Pinto ma' Bini Importanti f'Malta" Ghaqda Armar San Bastjan AD 1984: Kummissjoni Zghazagh Bastjanizi AD 1991 in Maltese 3: 63 Archived from the original on 25 February 2017 
  • Boffa, Christa 28 June 2015 "Minn Qorti fi zmien il-Kavallieri, sal-Ministeru tas-Saħħa - Palazz Castellania" Illum in Maltese 454 p 23 Archived from the original on 25 February 2017 
  • A drawing of Valletta in 1663, including the first Castellania - marked as "22 Albergo di Alemagna e Castellania doue si tiene giustitia / 23 Casa dell’Illmo Castellano et altri"Read also, p 147
  • Ghirxi, F 1983 "Il-Klistanija / u t-Triq tal-Ganc 11/12" Mal-Medda taz-zmien in Maltese Melita Historica 
  • Also known as klistanija Prison closed after 7 December 1853 "Il-Piena Kapitali" In-Nazzjon in Maltese 16 January 1999 Archived from the original on 21 February 2017 
  • Cassar, Kevin Palatial Buildings of Valletta - A History of Auberge d'Italie, the Auberge de Castille and the Castellania 
  • French Judiciary at the end of the Order, French law did not last long to root and British Protectorate 1801–1813 p 405
  • Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and some refurbishment, conference, Code de Rohanlasted until British period
  • Caruana-Dingli, Noël; Aquilina, Anthony 2001 "La langue française à Malte 1798–1800" In Marie-Christine Kok-Escalle; Francine Melka Changements politiques et statut des langues: histoire et épistémologie 1780–1945 in French Rodopi pp 53–70 ISBN 978-90-420-1375-9 
  • Epoca Gallica French occupation and other info
  • Militia disbanded in 1802 but restored in 1852 Militia 1852–1857
  • The lab was actually a floor below the museum - photo showing lab with next door room
  • March 1820, Valletta, Castellania Fiction story with some description
  • Information and Brown, Robert 1891 "Malta" The Picturesque Mediterranean PDF 2 from University of California: Cassell p 48 
  • Ministry of Social PolicyOther
  • The Castellania was a court and tribunal Several missing information to be added with better sourcesexampleandthisthisthispay tax
  • Consolato del Mare and Chamber of Commerce at the Castellania Mifsud, A 1914 Knights Hospitallers of the Ven Tongue of England in Malta Valletta: Malta Herald Print Off p 279 ISBN 0-404-17009-9 Archived from the original on 26 February 2015 
  • Vice-Admiralty CourtDiritto MunicipalesimilarGran Visconte
  • Luke, Harry 1960 Malta: An Account and an Apreciation University of Michigan: Harrap p 67 
  • Street of the Castellania Bonello, Giovanni 2000 Histories of Malta 1 Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti p 40 ISBN 978-99932-10-01-6 
  • Badger, George Percy 1869 Historical Guide to Malta and Gozo Calleja pp 220–221 
  • Palazzo della Castellania Muscat, Noel 2006 "Fra Diego Bonanno OFM 1831–1902: L'umile frate che Malta ha amato" PDF Malta: Publishers Enterprises Group PEG Archived from the original PDF on 19 December 2016 
  • Gran-Corte della Castellania Mallia, Giovanni 1784 Del diritto municipale di Malta nuova compilazione con diverse altre costituzioni Nella Stamperia del Palazzo di SAE per Fra Gio Mallia Suo Stamp, 1784 
  • Gran Corte della Castellania Collezione di bandi, prammatiche ed altri avvisi ufficiali dal 17 luglio 1784 al 4 ottobre 1813 Malta: Stamperia del Governo 1840 pp 1–186 
  • The Palazzo Municipale, designed by Romano Carapecchia, was inspirational for the building of the new Castellania De Lucca, Denis 1999 Carapecchia: Master of Baroque Architecture in Early Eighteenth Century Malta Midsea Books pp 128, 140 ISBN 978-99909-93-00-4 
  • Admiralty Court, and CochraneGregory, Desmond 1996 "Malta as British Naval Base" Malta, Britain, and the European Powers, 1793-1815 Fairleigh Dickinson University Press pp 256–264 ISBN 9780838635902  Cochrane Dundonald, Thomas 1860 "Visit to the Admiralty Court at Malta" The Authobibliography of a Seaman 2 London: R Bentley p 166-180 ISBN 9780094751804 OCLC 832824785 Archived from the original on 12 December 2009  More info Further info
  • Secretary for Health moved in from Casa Leoni in 1998some infoAnton Butigieg
  • History of the Statue of Justice according to Giovanni Bonello Attard, David Joseph 2013 The Maltese Legal System: Volume 1 2 ed Malta University Press pp 422–423 ISBN 978-99909-45-74-4 OCLC 864123423 
  • Cassar, Paul June 1979 "Four Bills of Health issued from Malta by the Order of St John" PDF Journal of Hygiene Great Britain: Cambridge University Press 82 3: 419–423 JSTOR 3862289 
  • Cassar, Paul 1993 "Further Bills of Health from Malta: 1576–1806" PDF Maltese Medical Journal Malta: University of Malta 5 1: 37–43 
  • Graffiti at Castellania prison courtyrad The Xprunara Publikazzjonijiet Indipendenza 2000 pp 1–44 ISBN 99909-41-93-9 OCLC 53083931 
  • Knox, Thomas Wallace 1983 The boy travellers in southern Europe : adventures of two youths in a journey through Italy, southern France, and Spain, with visits to Gibraltar and the islands of Sicily and Malta New York City, Franklin Square: Harper & Brothers pp 415, 416  "Relic of the knights", prison life and torture
  • The picturesque Mediterranean, its cities, shores, and islands, with illustrations on wood by J MacWhirter, ARA, J Fulleylove, RI, J O'Connor, RI, W Simpson, RI, WHJ Boot, SBA, C Wyllie, ET Compton and others New York Cassell Publishing Company 1890 p 48  Book gives details of the strappado, excludes the use of the iron bar or hook, but mentions the use of the window above the pilllory
  • Cassar, Paul 1988 The Castellania Palace: From Law Courts to Guardian of the Nation's Health Malta: Department of Information OCLC 223304919 :
  • Testa, Carmel 1989 The Life and Times of Grand Master Pinto, 1741–1773 Malta: Midsea Books ISBN 978-99909-93-20-2 
  • Zammit, Themistocles 1942 "Swear to Tell the Truth" Malta Calling University of California: Practical Press Limited p 31 
  • Buhagiar, Mario 2009 Essays on the Knights and Art and Architecture in Malta, 1500–1798 Malta: Midsea Books ISBN 99932-7-246-9 OCLC 382398263 
  • Haslam, Sylvia Mary; Borg, Joseph 1998 The River Valleys of the Maltese Islands: Environment and Human Impact Islands and Small States Institute of the Foundation for International Studies p 161 ISBN 99909-49-06-9 OCLC 30424595 
  • Muscat, Joseph 1997 Graffiti on the exterior walls of St Paul's Shipwreck church Wied il-Qliegħa Mosta Melita Historica 12 2 pp 179–194
  • Muscat, Joseph; Cassar, Joanne 1994 The Gozo Prisons Graffiti Melitensia p 246
  • Borg, Charmaine 20 November 2015 Palazzo Castellania Scribd Archived from the original on 5 October 2016
  • Scicluna, Sandra 2004 The Prison in Malta: 1850–1870 and 1931–1951 PhD dissertation University of Leicester Harvard Prison was closed in 1850 "Debtors' Prison" transferred to Gran Prigione p 60
  • THE SESSIONAL PAPERS PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS, OR PRESENTED BY ROYAL COMMAND IN THE SESSION 1839 VOL VII Oxford University 1839 pp 63–65 Accounts and Papers: Affairs of the Island of Malta pp 317–506
  • Gas Office and other legacies Zammit, Themistocles 1928 "Il-Belt Valletta" PDF Il-Malti in Maltese 2 ed Il-Ghaqda tal-Kittieba tal-Malti 4 2: 35 Archived from the original PDF on 17 April 2016 
  • School financial support, at the Castellania
  • Portrait of Caterina Scappi Hoe, Susanna 2016 "Valletta" Malta: Women, History, Books and Places PDF Oxford: Women's History Press a division of Holo Books p 370 ISBN 978-0-9572153-5-1 OCLC 931704918 Archived from the original PDF on 10 October 2016 
  • Savona-Ventura, Charles 17 April 2012 "Museum" University of Malta Archived from the original on 12 October 2016 
  • On the Path of the Knights of Malta p 62
  • Bonello, Giovanni 2007 "Notes for a History of the Judiciary at the Time of the Order" judiciarymaltagovmt pp 20–21  See also
  • Imp comment and cavalletto squarciapallethis tooJudge Combo Code de Rohan criticismoriginally from this source

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