The knights strengthened Valletta and its harbour by bastions, curtain-walls, lines and forts, towards the sea, towards the land and on every available point, taking advantage in every particular of the natural rock and of the marvellous advantages of situation, rendering it then almost impregnable.
Thus, there may be a platform round the nuraghe, generally with two, three or four bastions, each often containing a chamber; or the main nuraghe may have additional chambers added to it.
It is built of brick and is one of the finest specimens of Renaissance fortification, and exemplifies especially the transition from the old girdle walls to the system of bastions; it still has round corner towers, not polygonal bastions (Burckhardt).
The old ramparts and bastions (excluding the circuit of the citadel of 1591, now in great part demolished, in the south-east) make an enceinte of about 41 m., but the enclosed area is not all occupied by streets and houses.
A strong wall and bastions, with a broad moat and outworks, and forts on the surrounding heights, give the city an appearance of great strength.
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