The European Conference on Resilience in Education will take place at the University Valletta Campus, Malta.
University of Malta Valletta Campus
Old University Building
St Paul Street
Valletta VLT 1216
(Entrance also via Merchants Street)
Please see map below:
University Valletta Campus
The Valletta Campus, popularly known also as the ‘Old University Building’ in Valletta, was constructed to serve as a Jesuit College, the first stone laid in 1595 by Grand Master Martino Garzes. Within two years the construction had advanced so much that it was possible to transfer to the new premises the classes which used to take place in an old house in Valletta.
Huddled between St. Paul, St Christopher, Merchants and Archbishop streets, the plan of the structure is typical of Renaissance large public buildings, with a central courtyard. Almost half of the site is taken up by the Jesuit church, whose construction started in 1592 and concluded in 1609.
corridors is a spectacle, lending itself to particular events such as Renaissance or Medieval themed dinners. Of equal interest is the wide staircase leading to the first floor, hardstone polished by the hundreds of Jesuit fathers, students and professors who made use of this building throughout the centuries. The portraits of distinguished personalities which embellish the corridors on the 1st floor were donated by Sir Joseph Nicholas Zammit in the 1800s. It is also interesting to point out that some of the rooms nowadays used as offices used to be the original cells of the Jesuit priests.
The building had quite a turbulent history. A few decades after completion, the structure suffered serious damage in September 1634, caused by an explosion in a nearby gunpowder magazine. This incident led to the re-modelling of certain parts of the building. Eventually the college and church were once again badly damaged in 1693, when an earthquake which hit Sicily in January affected the Island of Malta as well. It is believed that the creation of a sundial on the back of the Jesuits’ church in 1695 and its Latin inscription ‘There will be a time where time will cease, and there will be eternal light to the good and endless night to the wicked’ was intended as a reminder of the anxious moments experienced during the earthquake. Similarly, there was also the creation of a clock in the courtyard with the Latin inscription ‘The Hours Perish and Are Put to Our Account’.
With the expulsion of the Jesuits from Malta in 1768, all their property, including the church and college in Valletta, were seized by the Order and administered by its Treasury. The course of studies, however, continued and the existing professors retained their posts. A conventual chaplain was chosen to take care of the adjacent church in order to keep it open to the public. In 1769, the Order officially established a college and a University on the premises.
After a brief suspension of studies during the reign of Grand Master Ximenes (1773-1775), the University was re-inaugurated in April 1779 by Grand Master de Rohan. From records kept by the Order it has been discovered that public academic debates were already being organised on the premises at the time.
During the French interlude (1798-1800), the University was replaced by the École Centrale, focusing mostly on the natural sciences. Attached to it were the Public Library, a Museum, Botanical Gardens, and an Observatory. Re-organised in 1900 by the British, the latter served as the main source of meteorological observations and records keeping. The equipment was situated in a small room on the highest point on the roof of the building at the corner of Merchants Street & St Christopher Street. In 1906, a seismograph was set up in an underground room making possible the collection of further information.
In the 1800s the British reopened the University, Mgr. Francesco Saverio Caruana being the first Rector. The British also opened a new gateway on St Paul Street in 1824, following the architectural fashion of the time which favoured a Doric revival. The gateway consists of an archway with a free-standing representation in stone of the British royal coat-of-arms on a moulded lintel supported on two Doric fluted columns. An inscription in Greek: ‘learning is the gateway to distinction’. Although this entrance is not commonly used anymore, it is still the gateway through which Masters and Doctoral Graduation processions pass before moving on to the Jesuit Church where the actual ceremony is held.
In early British period, the ground floor rooms were rented as the Commercial Rooms, or stanze. In fact this space was re-constructed and refurbished in 1810, and has recently undergone further refurbishment in 2013.
The Old University Building housed a long list of different offices and institutions among them the Anglo-Maltese Library, the Lyceum for male students, an Air Raid Precautions Centre during World War II, and more recently even the head office of Heritage Malta. Nowadays it houses two departments of the University of Malta; the Conference Unit and the International Collaborative Programme.
The capital city, Valletta, is considered the Baroque capital of Malta. Built in the 1560s by the Knights of St John to serve as the headquarters of the Order, Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and will be European Capital of Culture in 2018.
Valletta is named after its founder, the respected Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Jean Parisot de la Valette. The magnificent fortress city grew on the arid rock of Mount Sceberras peninsula, which rises steeply from two deep harbours, Marsamxett and Grand Harbour. Started in 1566, Valletta was completed, with its impressive bastions, forts and cathedral, in the astonishingly short time of 15 years, even more remarkable is considering the fact that mechanical tools did not exist at the time and the whole city was built entirely by hand.
Valletta has many titles, all recalling its rich historical past. It is the “modern” city built by the Knights of St John; a masterpiece of the Baroque; a European Art City and a World Heritage City. Today, it is one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world.
The city is busy by day, yet retains a timeless atmosphere by night, that gives the feeling that you are walking back in time. The grid of narrow streets boasts some of Europe’s finest art works, churches and palaces.
Valletta is abundantly rich in sites to see and explore, intriguing historical buildings around every corner: votive statues, niches, fountains and coats of arms high up on parapets. Narrow side streets are full of tiny quaint shops and cafés, while Valletta’s main streets are lined with larger international branded shops and more.
Malta, Gozo and Comino, the inhabited islands of the Maltese archipelago, lie at almost the exact geographical heart of the Mediterranean Sea. With Sicily some 95 kms to the North, Tripoli 350 kms to the South and Tunis 320 kms to the West, Malta is virtually at the crossroads between continents. The islands’ strategic position has, in fact, made them subject to a succession of rulers, who in turn left their influence on the country and language as we know them today. Malta’s pre-history dates back to 5000 B.C., whilst its documented past is traceable over a period of 2000 years.
In 1964 Malta obtained its political Independence from Britain and in 1974 it became a Republic. Elections to the House of Representatives are held every five years. Malta is a member of the United Nations and its various organisations and ever since 1964 has taken an active role in United Nations affairs. In 1967 Malta launched the idea of seabed resources being the common heritage of mankind. Malta became a full member of the EU on 1 May, 2004.
The national language is Maltese which is a complex derivative of Semitic and Romance languages using a primarily Latin alphabet but also including a number of additional letters which originate in the Arab language. English is also an official language. The climate is typically Mediterranean, having mild winters and hot summers. Malta has a population of over 421,000 and is visited annually by some one and a half million tourists. Air Malta and other international airlines link Malta with the major European and North African cities. There are daily connections to London (Heathrow and Gatwick Airports) and Rome as well as frequent direct flights to Milan, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Athens, Tunis, Cairo, Tel Aviv and Dubai. A sophisticated telecommunications system, mobile telephony, cardphone/internet booths and internet cafés, ensure easy international links. The Capital City, Valletta, commissioned by Grandmaster La Vallette after the Great Siege of 1565, has been selected as European Capital of Culture 2018.