Architectures of the Mediterranean: Buildings, Landscapes, Cities (field lab in Valetta)

Discipline: Architectural History
Instructor: Nelson
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 1045
End: 1200
Field Work: Day 1 - Valetta - Monday, 29 July | Malta Download Syllabus

This introductory course examines critical moments in the history of architecture along the Mediterranean rim. The class is an investigation of the relationships of architectures, peoples, and places in history. Themes will include architecture and power, identity, religion, empire, the transmission of ideas, building cultures, and the challenges of preservation and interpretation.

Field Work

Country: Malta
Day: 1 - Valetta - Monday, 29 July

This field lab walks through the architecture of the Crusaders on Malta focusing in the morning on the sixteenth century and the afternoon on the seventeenth century. It begins in Valletta at the ancient Our Lady of Victories Church and from there to Vittoriosa (Birgu) with an examination of the earliest auberges (language specific inns erected for crusaders on route to the Holy Land). We will visit the Auberge de France, the Auberge de Provence, and the most important the Auberge De Angleterre, which today serves as a public library. From there we will travel by coach to the Verdala Palace to see a 16th century fortified palace and from there we ferry to Cittadella, a small fortified settlement overlooking modern Victoria. This natural rock outcropping has been continuously occupied since the Bronze Age (almost 3500 years). In Cittadella we will visit the old prison, the city fortifications, and the cathedral. Returning to the main island, we will stop at St. Agatha’s Tower for an examination of freestanding military architecture. Next we stop at the Selmun Palace, which is now a hotel, to see another excellent example of a fortified palace before returning to our last stop in Valletta, the Conventual Church of St. John a late sixteenth century church with an extraordinary seventeenth century interior. Academic Objectives:

  1. Examine architecture and ethnicity
  2. Examine the military architecture of the early modern period
  3. Examine the architecture and community