Charles V, while in Marsala, charged Engineer Piero Prato with the bastion project signing the pertaining agreement in the Cathedral on March 25th, 1549.

 This project planned the refurbishing and enlargement of the walls and the construction of four bastions.  The cost was 10,000 scutes, half of which coming from the Royal Court and the rest gathered by the people.

The bastions were to defend the town from pirate Dragutte’s incursions who had already taken over the town, and from Suleiman’s Turkish ships whose operational base was Tunis.

St. Francis bastion - open

Town Villa - open

St. Francis’ Bastion
Its construction was assigned to Andrea Milazzo on March 16th, 1551.  It is built out of rather solid stone dug in Contrada Favara. It is still undamaged.  It was adjacent to the homonymous convent demolished in 1894.  Today the bastion is part of the Town Villa.

 Bottino or Vega Bastion
Its name derives from Viceroy Giovanni De Vega who was charged with the construction work on July 2nd, 1549.  The work went on slowly due to financial problems.  Between 1880 and 1898 a portion was destroyed and in the period between 1944 and 1962 it disappeared and was replaced by new buildings.

 St. Antony’s Bastion
Its construction was ordered by Giovanni Pignoso, Marsala arms commander, but was stopped due to an attack by the Turks who tried to violate the town walls. It is supposed to have been completed in 1555 by the masons’ brotherhood.  It was then struck by a lightening and destroyed along with the Convent of Grace on November 11th, 1662.  Today only the north-east flank remains.

 St. James’ Bastion
There is scanty information about it since its documents were destroyed. However, it still appears undamaged in 1898 land registry maps.  It was then destroyed to give space to Via Armando Diaz.  The few remains are visible in an area surrounded by the ancient 12-metre deep moat.