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Forte Gonzaga in Messina, which was designed by Ferramolino in 1540

Antonio Ferramolino was a 16th-century Italian architect and military engineer. He is also known as Sferrandino da Bergamo, and is called Hernan Molin in Spanish sources. He is mostly known for his work in Sicily, but he also designed fortifications in Croatia and Malta.


Ferramolino was born in Bergamo, which was then part of the Republic of Venice. He began his career as a soldier, but little is known about his early works.[1] In 1529 he oversaw the construction of artillery at the Venetian Arsenal.

In 1532, he fought against the Ottomans in Hungary. Ferramolino was also present at the conquest of Tunis in 1535.[1] In 1536, Emperor Charles V sent him to review the fortifications of Messina and the rest of Sicily. Over the next couple of years, he designed several fortifications around Sicily, including at Messina, Palermo and Catania.[2][3]

In 1538, Ferramolino went to the Republic of Ragusa (modern Dubrovnik, Croatia) and designed the Revelin Fortress.[4]

In 1540, he was sent to Malta, which was ruled by the Order of Saint John. He designed the cavalier and ditch of Fort St. Angelo,[5] and designed two bastions of the fortifications of Mdina.[6] He also proposed the construction of a fort on the Sciberras Peninsula.[1]

Ferramolino was killed on 18 August 1550 during the siege of Mahdia in modern Tunisia.


The cavalier of Fort St. Angelo in Birgu, Malta, which was designed by Ferramolino

Ferramolino designed or modified the following fortifications, among others:


  1. ^ a b c Meli, Pavla Antonia (1998). An Introduction to the Hospitaller Military Architecture of Valletta.
  2. ^ Quatriglio, Giuseppe (1997). A Thousand Years in Sicily: From the Arabs to the Bourbons. Legas. pp. 96–97. ISBN 9780921252177.
  3. ^ Binaghi Picciotto, Rita (1996). Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 46 (in Italian). Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Dubrovnik City Walls". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  5. ^ Spiteri, Stephen C. (26 July 2010). "Fort St Angelo during the Great Siege". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  6. ^ "D'Homedes Bastion - Mdina" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 28 June 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.