The period currently represented here spans from the end of the 16th century to mid 17th century. During this period, Malta was home to the Hospitaller Order of St. John.
The Order of St. John was born in the Holy Land in the 11th century, starting off with a number of hospitals along the main pilgrimage routes to the Holy Land, and it was officially sanctioned by Pope Paschal II in 1113. After the First Crusade, the Order of St. John adopted a secondary branch, extending its mission to the armed protection of pilgrims, thus becoming a Religious Military Order. When the Muslim forces captured the last Latin stronghold in the East, Acre 1291, the Order moved to Cyprus and then Rhodes. The knights prospered on Rhodes, which gave them the opportunity to exercise governance in relative autonomy. After having repelled a number of attacks from the Ottoman Empire, notoriously that of 1480, they succumbed to a major onslaught in 1522. After seven years wandering around Europe, they finally settled in Malta.
sixteenth century was a tumultuous one for the Order. The impending
threat of another Ottoman attack materialised in 1565, and Malta was not
adequately fortified. Against all odds, the Order succeeded in
defending the island.
Notable events that occurred during the time span being portrayed are:
1627 - 1628:
Early Modern Gallery click here >