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Fort Saint Elmo

Fort Saint Elmo is a star fort in Valletta, Malta. It stands on the seaward shore of the Sciberras Peninsula that divides Marsamxett Harbour from Grand Harbour, commands the entrances to both harbours along with Fort Tigné and Fort Ricasoli, it is best known for its role in the Great Siege of Malta of 1565. By 1417, the local militia had established a permanent watch post on the tip of the Sciberras Peninsula. In 1488, the Aragonese built a watchtower on Saint Elmo Point, it was dedicated to Erasmus of Formia, better known as Saint Elmo. In 1533, the Order of Saint John reinforced the tower due to its strategic location. In 1551, an Ottoman raid occurred in which the Turkish fleet sailed into Marsamxett Harbour unopposed. Due to this, it was decided that a major expansion was necessary, in 1552 the tower was demolished and a new star fort began to be built, it had a cavalier, a covertway and a tenaille. A ravelin was hastily constructed months before the 1565 siege. In 1565, the Ottomans invaded Malta once again with much more force than in 1551, in the Great Siege of Malta.

Fort Saint Elmo was the scene of some of the most intense fighting of this siege, it withstood massive bombardment from Turkish cannon deployed on Mount Sciberras that overlooked the fort and from batteries on the north arm of Marsamextt Harbour, the present site of Fort Tigné. The initial garrison of the fort was around one hundred and fifty knights and six hundred soldiers, the majority of whom were Spanish, sixty armed galley slaves; the garrison could be reinforced by boat from the forts across the Grand Harbour at Birgu and Senglea. During the bombardment of the fort, a cannon misfired and hit the top of its parapet, sending shards in all directions. Debris from the impact killed the gunner and mortally injured the corsair and Ottoman admiral Turgut Reis, one of the most competent of the Ottoman commanders; the fort withstood the siege for 28 days, falling to the Turks on 23 June 1565. None of the defending knights survived, only nine of the Maltese defenders survived by swimming across to Fort St. Angelo on the other side of the Grand Harbour after Fort St Elmo fell.

The long siege bought much needed time for the preparation of the other two fortresses and the arrival of reinforcements from Spain. After the siege, Grandmaster Jean Parisot de Valette decided to build a new city on the peninsula. Construction started in 1566, Francesco Laparelli was sent by the Pope to design the fortifications; the ruined Fort Saint Elmo was integrated within the city walls. The fort was modified a number of times in the 17th century; the Vendôme Bastion was built in 1614, in 1687 the Carafa Enceinte was built on the foreshore surrounding the entire fort. In the late 17th century, the fort was directly linked to the cavalier and part of the ditch was filled in burying some of the original ramparts in the process. In the 18th century, a new polverista was built in the Vendome Bastion, stores were built in the area between the main fort and the Carafa Enceinte; these are known as Pinto Stores and they and the surrounding area form what is known as Lower Saint Elmo. On 8 September 1775, Fort Saint Elmo was captured by 13 rebel priests along with Saint James Cavalier in what became known as the Revolt of the Priests.

The Order's flag was lowered and a banner of Saint Paul was raised instead. The Order managed to recapture St Elmo; the rebels were tried and three were executed while the others were exiled or imprisoned. The heads of the three executed men were displayed on the corners of St James Cavalier, but were removed soon after Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc was elected Grandmaster in November of the same year; the fort was once again modified in the early 19th century by the British, when a musketry parapet was built. In 1855, the polverista at Vendome Bastion was converted into an armoury, some small arms from the Palace Armoury were transferred there. In the 1870s, more works were done on Abercrombie's Bastion. In 1917, the first heart operation to be performed on a soldier was done at St Elmo. In the interwar period gun emplacements were built to house new twin 6-pounder QF guns; the fort was the site of the first aerial bombardment of Malta on 11 June 1940. Among the people that were in the fort during the air raid was the military doctor Ċensu Tabone, who became President of Malta.

He survived the attack. On 26 July 1941, the Italians launched a seaborne attack on the Grand Harbour with two human torpedoes, four MAS boats and six MT boats; the force was detected early on by a British radar facility, the coastal artillery at Saint Elmo opened fire when the Italians approached to close range. Fifteen of the attackers were killed and 18 captured, all the human torpedoes and MT boats, along with two of the MAS boats were lost. One of the MT boats hit St. Elmo Bridge, which linked the breakwater with the tip of the peninsula near the fort, the bridge collapsed; the bridge was never restored, it was only in 2012 that a new one was built in its place with a similar but different design. Parts of the fort were damaged during the war and some scars of the bombing can still be seen to this day; the Royal Malta Artillery left the fort on 26 March 1972. Parts of the fort subsequently fell in disuse; the World Monuments Fund placed the fort on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world because of its significant deterioration due to factors such as lack of maintenance and security, natural aging, exposure to the elements.

Since 2009 major restoration works began, as of 2014 the restoration of Upper Saint

Kingdom of Kottayam

Kottayam is a former Hindu vassal feudal city-state in the erstwhile province of Malabar in present-day Kerala, in the Indian subcontinent. Kottayam is famed for Pazhassi one of principal leaders of the Wynaad Insurrection; the Kingdom of Kottayam covered what is today Talassery Taluk of Wynad District. Headquarters of this kingdom was located in a small town not far from Tellicherry; the royal dynasty of the princely state of Kottayam was called Purannatt Swarupam. The Padinjare Kovilakam or Western Branch of this royal dynasty was located at Pazhassi and is famous for its heroic royal rebel, Pazhassi Raja; the institution of Kathakali gained in progress and richness during the time of the Raja of Kottayam between 1665 AD and 1725 AD. The Raja of Kottayam, a brilliant actor-dancer structured several compositions to complete the transition of Kathakali from its earlier form Ramanattam developed by Kottarakkara Thampuran. Many dedicated artists like Chathu Panicker endeavored towards laying the foundations for what is known as Kathakali now.

Their efforts were concentrated on the rituals, classical details, scriptural perfection. Now Kathakali has not changed from this format in basic details. Bakavadham, Kalyana Saugandhikam, Nivathakayacha Kalakeyavadham are the four perfect Kottayam works. After this the most important changes in Kathakali were brought about through the efforts of a single person namely, Kaplingad Narayanan Nambudiri. After basic instructions in various faculties of the art in Vettathu Kalari of North Malabar, he shifted to Travancore and there in its capital and many other centres he found many willing to co-operate with him in bringing about these reformations. Kottayam-Malabar The Royal'Rebel' Pazhassi Raja: The Royal Rebel by Shreekumar Varma Peasant Protests in Kerala Eye witness account from Lachlan Macquarie who participated in one of the battle against Pazhassi Raja

Wire (band)

Wire are an English rock band, formed in London in October 1976 by Colin Newman, Graham Lewis, Bruce Gilbert and Robert Gotobed. They were associated with the punk rock scene, appearing on The Roxy London WC2 album, were central to the development of post-punk, with their debut album Pink Flag was influential for hardcore punk. Wire are considered a definitive art punk and post-punk band, due to their richly detailed and atmospheric sound and obscure lyrical themes, they exhibited a steady development from an early noise rock style to a more complex, structured sound involving increased use of guitar effects and synthesizers. The band gained a reputation for experimenting with song arrangements throughout its career. Wire's debut album Pink Flag – "perhaps the most original debut album to come out of the first wave of British punk", according to AllMusic – contains songs that are diverse in mood and style, but most use a minimalist punk approach combined with unorthodox structures. "Field Day for the Sundays", for example, is only 28 seconds long.

Their second album, Chairs Missing marked a retreat from the stark minimalism of Pink Flag, with longer, more atmospheric songs and synthesizer parts added by producer Mike Thorne. "Outdoor Miner" was a minor hit. The experimentation was more prominent on 154. Creative differences split the band in 1979, leading to the Document and Eyewitness LP, a recording of a live performance that featured exclusively, new material, described as "disjointed", "unrecognizable as rock music" and "almost unlistenable"; the LP came packaged with an EP of a different performance of more new material. Some of these songs, along with others performed but not included on the album, were included on Newman's post-Wire solo albums, while others were released by Gilbert's and Lewis' primary post-Wire outlet Dome. Between 1981 and 1985, Wire ceased recording and performing in favour of solo and collaborative projects such as Dome, Duet Emmo and several Colin Newman solo efforts. In 1985, the group re-formed with greater use of electronic musical instruments.

Wire announced that they would perform none of their older material, hiring The Ex-Lion Tamers as their opening act. The Ex-Lion Tamers played Wire's older songs, Wire played their new material. Wire released IBTABA in 1989, a "live" album of reworked versions of songs from The Ideal Copy and A Bell Is a Cup rearranged and remixed. A new song from the album, "Eardrum Buzz", was released as a single and peaked at number 68 in the UK singles chart. Gotobed left the band after the release of the album Manscape. After his departure, the band dropped one letter from its name, becoming "Wir", released The First Letter in 1991. There followed a further period of solo recordings, during which Newman founded the swim ~ label, Githead with his wife, while Wire remained an occasional collaboration, it was not until 1999. With Gotobed back in the line-up, the group reworked much of their back catalogue for a performance at Royal Festival Hall in 2000. Wire's reception during a short tour in early May of the US, a number of UK gigs, convinced the band to continue.

Two EPs and an album, followed, as well as collaborations with stage designer Es Devlin and artists Jake and Dinos Chapman. In 2006, Wire's 1970s albums were re-released with the original vinyl track listings. A third Read & Burn EP was released in November 2007. A full-length album of new material entitled Object 47 was released in July 2008. Bruce Gilbert was not involved in this recording, according to Newman, he did feature in a minimal capacity on the third Read and Burn EP. In January 2011 the band released Red Barked Tree, according to a press release and the BBC "rekindles a lyricism sometimes absent from Wire's previous work and reconnects with the live energy of performance and channelled from extensive touring over the past few years"; the album was written and recorded by Newman and Grey, but speaking to Marc Riley on the day of the release, Newman introduced as "a new boy" guitarist Matt Simms, a touring member with the band since April 2010. In March 2013 the band released Change Becomes Us, their 13th studio album, well received.

Their fourteenth album, eponymously titled Wire, was released in April 2015. The following year, in April 2016, the band's 15th studio album, entitled Nocturnal Koreans, was released on their label Pinkflag, it consisted of eight songs recorded during the sessions for their previous album, but were cut from the track listing. Stereogum named Nocturnal Koreans the Album of the Week. Reviews for the album were positive.. In 2017 Wire celebrated 40 years since their debut gig on 1 April 1977 by releasing their 16th studio album Silver/Lead and headlining the Los Angeles edition of their DRILL: FESTIVAL. In late October 2019, the band announced that they would be releasing an album entitled Mind Hive on 24 January 2020, it will be released on their own Pinkflag label. The band appeared on the front cover of Wire magazine published in January 2020. Wire's influence has outshone their comparatively modest