Stephen C. Spiteri

Last updated
Stephen C. Spiteri
Born (1963-09-15) September 15, 1963 (age 57)
Nationality Maltese
Alma mater University of Malta
Scientific career
Fields Military historian, author, lecturer and preservationist
Institutions University of Malta as the Research Co-ordinator of the Restoration Directorate

Stephen C. Spiteri (born 15 September 1963) is a Maltese military historian, author, lecturer and preservationist. His work mainly deals with the military history of Malta, particularly military architecture, and he is regarded as the "leading expert on Malta's fortifications." [1]



He is the son of architect Joseph M. Spiteri. [2] Spiteri studied at St. Aloysius' College and the University of Malta. He is the Research Co-ordinator of the Restoration Directorate, the Maltese government's entity responsible for restoring historic buildings, and he is also a lecturer at the International Institute for Baroque Studies of the University of Malta. [3] Spiteri previously served as the Superintendent of Fortifications for a decade, and he was also Acting Curator of the Palace Armoury in the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta. [4] He later became curator of the Fortifications Interpretation Centre, also in Valletta. [5]

Spiteri has written and illustrated numerous authoritative books dealing with the fortifications of Malta, especially those fortresses built by the Knights Hospitaller. All of them are now collector's items fetching often steep prices. He also edits Arx – Online Journal of Military Architecture and Fortification, which is published via his website Spiteri is one of the founding members of the Sacra Militia Foundation for the study of Hospitaller Military and Naval History, as well as the Fortress Explorer Society. [4] [6] [7]


Further reading

Related Research Articles

António Manoel de Vilhena

António Manoel de Vilhena was a Portuguese nobleman who was the 66th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem from 19 June 1722 to his death in 1736. Unlike a number of the other Grand Masters, he was benevolent and popular with the Maltese people. Vilhena is mostly remembered for the founding of Floriana, the construction of Fort Manoel and the Manoel Theatre, and the renovation of the city of Mdina.

Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc

Fra' Emmanuel Marie des Neiges de Rohan-Polduc was a member of the wealthy and influential Rohan family of France, and 70th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of St. John from 1775 to 1797.

Fort Manoel

Fort Manoel is a star fort on Manoel Island in Gżira, Malta. It was built in the 18th century by the Order of Saint John, during the reign of Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena, after whom it is named. Fort Manoel is located to the north west of Valletta, and commands Marsamxett Harbour and the anchorage of Sliema Creek. The fort is an example of Baroque architecture, and it was designed with both functionality and aesthetics in mind.

Charles François de Mondion was a French architect and military engineer who was active in Hospitaller Malta in the early 18th century. He was also a member of the Order of Saint John.

Palace Armoury

The Palace Armoury is an arms collection housed at the Grandmaster's Palace in Valletta, Malta. It was the main armoury of the Order of St. John in the 17th and 18th centuries, and as such it was the last arsenal established by a crusader military order. Although today only a part of the original armoury still survives, it is still one of the world's largest collections of arms and armour still housed in its original building. The Palace Armoury has been open to the public as a museum since 1860.

Fort Chambray

Fort Chambray or Fort Chambrai is a bastioned fort located in the precincts of Għajnsielem, on the island of Gozo, Malta. It was built in the mid-18th century by the Order of Saint John, in an area known as Ras it-Tafal, between the port of Mġarr and Xatt l-Aħmar. The fort was meant to be the citadel of a new city which was to replace the Cittadella as the island's capital, but this plan never materialized.

Fort Tigné

Fort Tigné is a polygonal fort in Tigné Point, Sliema, Malta. It was built by the Order of Saint John between 1793 and 1795 to protect the entrance to Marsamxett Harbour, and it is one of the oldest polygonal forts in the world. The fort was extensively altered by the British in the 19th century, and it remained in use by the military until 1979.

Saint Johns Cavalier

Saint John's Cavalier is a 16th-century cavalier in Valletta, Malta, which was built by the Order of St. John. It overlooks St. John's Bastion, a large obtuse-angled bastion forming part of the Valletta Land Front. St. John was one of nine planned cavaliers in the city, although eventually only two were built, the other one being the identical Saint James Cavalier. It was designed by the Italian military engineer Francesco Laparelli, while its construction was overseen by his Maltese assistant Girolamo Cassar.

Fortifications of Malta

The fortifications of Malta consist of a number of walled cities, citadels, forts, towers, batteries, redoubts, entrenchments and pillboxes. The fortifications were built over thousands of years, from around 1450 BC to the mid-20th century, and they are a result of the Maltese islands' strategic position and natural harbours, which have made them very desirable for various powers.

Lembi Battery

Lembi Battery, also known as Qala Lembi Battery, was an artillery battery in Sliema, Malta. It was built in 1757 by the Order of Saint John, and was considered as an outwork of Fort Manoel. The battery became obsolete with the construction of Fort Tigné in 1795, and it was briefly used as a summer residence before being demolished. In the 1870s, Cambridge Battery was built close to the site of Lembi Battery.

Corradino Lines

The Corradino Lines are a line of fortification on Corradino in Paola, Malta. They were built between 1871 and 1880 by the British. Today, the lines are partly intact and they lie in an industrial area.

National Congress Battalions

The National Congress Battalions, also known as the Truppe di Campagna, was an irregular military set up in Malta just after the Maltese rebellion against French rule in September 1798. It existed for two years before being disbanded on 11 September 1800.

Michele Cachia

Michele Cachia was a Maltese architect and military engineer. He is also known for his role during the Maltese uprising of 1798–1800.

Fortifications Interpretation Centre

The Fortress Builders – Fortification Interpretation Centre (FIC) is an interpretation centre about the fortifications of Malta. It is housed in a late 16th-century warehouse located near the St. Andrew's Bastion in Valletta, Malta. The centre was opened in 2013, and it aims at communicating Malta's military architecture in an interactive way.

Entrenchment (fortification)

In fortification, the term entrenchment can refer to either a secondary line of defence within a larger fortification, or an enceinte designed to provide cover for infantry, having a layout similar to a city wall but on a smaller scale. The latter usually consisted of curtain walls and bastions or redans, and was sometimes also protected by a ditch.

French invasion of Malta

The French invasion of Malta was the successful invasion of the islands of Malta and Gozo, then ruled by the Order of St. John, by the French First Republic led by Napoleon in June 1798 as part of the Mediterranean campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars.

Domenico Cachia

Domenico Cachia was a Maltese capomastro who was involved in the construction of several notable buildings, including Auberge de Castille in Valletta and St Helen's Basilica in Birkirkara. It is not certain if he was the same person as Gio Domenico Cachia, an architect who was the father of Antonio Cachia.

Antonio Cachia

Antonio Cachia (1739–1813) was a Maltese architect, civil and military engineer and archaeologist who was active in the late 18th and early 19th century.

1634 Valletta explosion

On 12 September 1634, a Hospitaller gunpowder factory in Valletta, Malta accidentally blew up, killing 22 people and causing severe damage to a number of buildings. The factory had been built sometime in the late 16th or early 17th centuries, replacing an earlier one in Fort St. Angelo in Birgu. It was located in the lower part of Valletta, close to the Slaves' Prison.

Romano Fortunato Carapecchia (1666–1738) was an Italian Baroque architect who was active in Rome, Malta and Sicily. His designs helped transform Malta's capital Valletta into a Baroque city in the first few decades of the 18th century.


  1. Rix, Juliet (2010). Malta and Gozo. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 85. ISBN   9781841623122.
  2. Vassallo, Raymond (6 October 2013). "Joseph Spiteri". Times of Malta.
  3. "Dr Stephen C. Spiteri". University of Malta . Archived from the original on 14 February 2016.
  4. 1 2 "Brief Curriculum Vitae: Stephen C. Spiteri" (PDF). University of Malta . Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2015.
  5. Di Puccio, Francesca (15 December 2013). "The Fortifications Interpretation Centre: a must-visit in Valletta". Malta Inside Out. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016.
  6. "About Us". Archived from the original on 14 February 2016.
  7. Ciappara, F. (ed.) (2015). Fort Manoel: the design and construction of an 18th-century Hospitaller fort (book review). Journal of Baroque Studies, 1(3), 189-191.]