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Protecting the most significant buildings, monuments and features of Valletta (17)

The covered market
The covered market in Valletta is architecturally significant as it was the first structure in Malta constructed mostly out of pre-fabricated iron. Other structures, such as the Naval Bakery at Vittoriosa and the Corradino Prisons had already employed the use of iron for their structure, but not on the scale it was used for the Valletta covered market. This feat demonstrates that Malta was consonant with the British Industrial Revolution.

Though the structure was completed under the direction of Emanuele Luigi Galizia, it was designed by Hector Zimelli during his period as Superintendent of Public Works. He consulted both Victor Baltard (the architect of the Paris market that had been recently constructed) and Sir Charles Fox (who designed the Crystal Palace together with Sir Joseph Paxton). The market suffered some damage during the war and was subsequently repaired.

The market has a simple, rectangular plan with a shell of masonry walls and arches that make up all three levels composed of the underground water reservoir, the basement level and the exterior first floor wall. The roofing is supported on a elaborate cast iron columns and trusses which serve as a lightweight canopy which is a unique feature in Maltese architecture.

Mepa scheduled the Covered Market as a Grade 1 national monument as per Government Notice No. 276/08 in the Government Gazette dated March 28.

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