Rare and Fabulous Pics of Valletta, Malta in the 19th Century

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Valletta is the capital city of Malta. Located in the south east of the island, between Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east. It is the southernmost capital of Europe.

Valletta’s 16th century buildings were constructed by the Knights Hospitaller. The city is Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture, though the Second World War left major scars on the city, particularly the destruction of the Royal Opera House.

Valletta, Malta in the 19th century

The city’s fortifications, consisting of bastions, curtains and cavaliers, along with the beauty of its Baroque palaces, gardens and churches, led the ruling houses of Europe to give the city its nickname Superbissima – Italian for Most Proud.

Here below is a rare and fabulous photo collection from Frank Lea-Ellis that shows everyday life of Valletta, Malta in the 19th century.

Strada Britannica, Valletta, Malta, circa late 1840s. Possibly one of the earliest street photographs taken in Malta

Valletta showing Upper Barrakka in the background before Fort Lascaris was built, 1948

Auberge de Castille, Valletta, Malta, 1854

Marsamscetto Valletta Malta showing the spire of St. Paul’s Anglican cathedral, 1854

Valletta street scene in Malta, circa 1854

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