Ġlormu (or Girolamo, because Maltese names have always been awesome) Cassar is one of Malta’s top OG architects and military engineers. Cassar was the resident engineer of the Knights of St. John, because they really loved his work and commissioned him to build a bunch of cool stuff for them. But beyond his undisputedly awesome work, it turns out that Cassar was a bit of a… well, dick.
Cassar started out working as a master builder and worked as a military engineer during the Battle of Djerba and the Great Siege — where here repaired the shit the Ottomans damaged and proved himself as a guy who’s committed AF.
Ġlormu was admitted in the Order in 1560 when he was approaching his 40s, and he was involved in the design and construction of Valletta. Anyway, the Grandmaster was quite a fan of Cassar, so he sent him touring Italy for inspiration — when he got here he took over Laparelli’s Valletta work and started doing his own thing.
The OG came back and designed the Grandmaster’s Palace, St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Verdala Palace, the Valletta fortifications, that chapel in St. Elmo, a bunch of churches and most of the Auberges.
So even though many of his buildings were eventually altered or demolished between the 17th and 20th centuries,it’s basically thanks to Cassar that we have a Baroque/Mannerist/Neoclassic city.
So far, so good.
But beyond his amazing architectural legacy, all was not well in Cassar’s personal life.
He reportedly had an illegitimate child with a woman who was totally not his wife. Having said that, Cassar and his wife did have five other children of their own.
The Cassar family were quite wealthy; they had at least two slaves. When it came to the illegitimate son, though, Gilormu made sure that the boy did not get any inheritance. He was a ‘naughty boy’ and was left out of his will and testament. We are not joking; that’s the reason he gave, for real.