In Messina there had always been – from the early Middle Ages to the sixteenth century – the biggest Sicilian dockyards. At first, they were not so far from the Royal Palace. After the victorious intervention of the Sicilan fleet against the famous Turkish Great Siege of Malta, in 1565, the viceroy, Don Garcia from Toledo, ordered to build a new big dockyard in the extreme side of the sickled peninsula of St. Raineri, and next to the ‘under construction’ fort of St. Salvatore. The Sicilan Parliament in 1561 voted an allocation of 39 thousands annual scudi to build and to arm six galleys in order to add them to the other ten which were already in service. In the new dockyard the shipbuilding activity developed more and more. The Messinese dockers built, not only the galleys of the Sicilian naval fleet, but also the galleys for the Maltese fleet (the Order of St. John’s fleet) and for the Spanish fleet. But this industrial jewel of the city came to an end in the XVIIth century. It was dismantled in 1615 to give place to the artilleries of the fort St. Salvatore and the shipbuilding activity dispersed in various smaller dislocations. The ship which was more frequently built in the Messinese dockyards, during their golden age, was the galley, the ship considered to be during Modern Age the queen of the Mediterranean. The aim of this paper is to show how the peculiar skills of the Messinese dockers during the early Modern Age represented an important page of the Mediterranean history.

The maritime vocation of a Mediterranean city: Messinese dockyards in the Early Modern Age

2011

Abstract

In Messina there had always been – from the early Middle Ages to the sixteenth century – the biggest Sicilian dockyards. At first, they were not so far from the Royal Palace. After the victorious intervention of the Sicilan fleet against the famous Turkish Great Siege of Malta, in 1565, the viceroy, Don Garcia from Toledo, ordered to build a new big dockyard in the extreme side of the sickled peninsula of St. Raineri, and next to the ‘under construction’ fort of St. Salvatore. The Sicilan Parliament in 1561 voted an allocation of 39 thousands annual scudi to build and to arm six galleys in order to add them to the other ten which were already in service. In the new dockyard the shipbuilding activity developed more and more. The Messinese dockers built, not only the galleys of the Sicilian naval fleet, but also the galleys for the Maltese fleet (the Order of St. John’s fleet) and for the Spanish fleet. But this industrial jewel of the city came to an end in the XVIIth century. It was dismantled in 1615 to give place to the artilleries of the fort St. Salvatore and the shipbuilding activity dispersed in various smaller dislocations. The ship which was more frequently built in the Messinese dockyards, during their golden age, was the galley, the ship considered to be during Modern Age the queen of the Mediterranean. The aim of this paper is to show how the peculiar skills of the Messinese dockers during the early Modern Age represented an important page of the Mediterranean history.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/1907911
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