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Old Bakery Street - Valletta

The Origins of Old Bakery Street

History Colloquially known as the Knight’s bakery, L-ifran tas-sinjurija a.k.a. the Bakeries of the Grandmaster were built in the late 1500s to supply bread and other baked goods to locals in the vicinities as well as the Knights of St John’s hospitals, prisons, garrison and navy.

 

The bakery was in its planning stages in 1582 and the project was finalised by 1585. Later additions involved the installation of a mill room in the 17th century.

Apart from full-time bakers who rented rooms at the bakery, trusted slaves were also deposited there under forced unpaid labour. However, after the slave’s revolt in 1749, none were ever trusted into important buildings again.

It is during the French occupation that the street achieved it’s infamous moniker. Initally renamed Rue des Fours from its original name Strada San Giovanni Battista, the street was later christined with its Italian translation: Strada Forni. During the British occupation, this was translated to read Triq l-Ifran, with the name Old Bakery Street coming into effect in 1926.

Sadly, the building was demolished that same year to make way for Vincenti Buildings – hence the name ‘Old’ Bakery Street, however its strong history and cultural importance remain integral in Maltese society.