Francesco Zerafa

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The Castellania in Valletta, which was designed by Zerafa shortly before his death. It was completed under the direction of Giuseppe Bonici.

Francesco "Franco" Zerafa[1] (Maltese: Franġisk Zerafa, 1679 – 21 April 1758) was a Maltese architect and donato to the Religion.[2] In 1714, he succeeded Giovanni Barbara as Capomastro delle Opere della Religione (the principal architect of the Order of St. John), a post which he held until his death.[3]

He assisted Charles François de Mondion in the designs of Fort Manoel,[2] and was responsible for major decorative additions at the palace of the Grand Master during the reign of Zondadari.[4] Together with Antonio Azzopardi, he oversaw the construction of the Manoel Theatre to designs of Romano Carapecchia in 1731–32.[3][2]

In 1757 he designed the Castellania in Valletta,[2] but he died on 21 April 1758 before the building was completed. He was succeeded as Capomastro delle Opere by Giuseppe Bonici, who oversaw the construction of the Castellania until it was completed in 1760.[5]

Zerafa was involved in several other public projects in the eighteenth century.[6][7][8][9]

Further reading

  • Bonello, Giovanni (October 2006). "Petitions by Medical Practitioners: 1632-1732" (PDF). Malta Medical Journal. University of Malta. 18 (3): 40. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 December 2017. 
  • Massimo Costantini, ed. (1998). "Il Mediterraneo centro-orientale tra vecchie e nuove egemonie : trasformazioni economiche, sociali e istituzionali nelle Isole Ionie dal declino della Serenissima all'avvento delle potenze atlantiche (secc. XVII - XVIII)". Med-Clio (in Italian). Bulzoni. 1. ISBN 9788883192012. OCLC 247534332. 
  • De Lucca, Denis (2005). "The Architecture of Valletta" (PDF). Studio Valletta Brochure. p. 46. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2017. 
  • De Lucca, Denis (2000). "Some unexplored Baroque Vernacular Interactions in Maltese Village Environments". Alpe Adria: Ljudska Arhitektura. Archived from the original on 30 April 2001. 
  • Thake, Conrad Gerald (2017). "Architecture and urban transformations in Mdina during the reign of Grand Master Anton Manoel de Vilhena (1722-1736)". ArcHistoR (AHR - Architecture History Restoration). Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria. 4 (7): 86. doi:10.14633/AHR054. ISSN 2384-8898. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. 


  1. ^ "Pixkerija Boutique Hotel Complex: Barriera Wharf - Valletta". The Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation (GHRC). May 2017. p. 2 (see design of plan). Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Spiteri, Stephen C. (2014). "Fort Manoel". Journal of Military Architecture and Fortification. ARX (4): 128. 
  3. ^ a b Schiavone, Michael J. (2009). Dictionary of Maltese Biographies Vol. 2 G–Z. Pietà: Pubblikazzjonijiet Indipendenza. p. 1709. ISBN 9789993291329. 
  4. ^ Vella, Theresa M. (June 2012). The paintings of the Order of St John in Malta (PDF) (Thesis). Faculty of Humanities, University of Bristol. p. 109. 
  5. ^ "The Castellania". Malta Environment and Planning Authority. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. 
  6. ^ Hoppen, Alison (1981). "Military engineers in Malta, 1530–1798". Annals of Science. 38: 413–433. doi:10.1080/00033798100200301. 
  7. ^ Ciappara, Frans (January 2002). "The Financial Condition of Parish Priests in late Eighteenth-Century Malta". The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. Cambridge University Press. 53 (1): 93–107. doi:10.1017/S0022046901008831. 
  8. ^ Borg, Ruben Paul (15 May 2018). "A Methodology for the Quality Assessment of the Theatre". Journal of Mediterranean Studies. Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta. 10000 (1): 77–96. 
  9. ^ Antista, Armando (2014). "L'architetto e il capomastro: una disputa nel cantiere della chiesa di Santa Caterina d'Italia a Valletta". LEXICON: Storie e Architettura in Sicilia (18): 92–96. ISSN 1827-3416. 

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