Grongnet de Vassé, Giorgio
Giorgio Grongnet de Vassé (1774-1862) was a renowned 19th-century Maltese architect. He designed the church in Mosta, which has one of the largest unsupported domes in the world, having a 40-metre diameter.
In 1854, following the lead of Bibischok and his extensive research, he suggested that Malta was a remnant of Atlantis(b). However, it was not until the following century that the idea was given any serious attention. Grongnet De Vassé placed the island of Atlantis in the Libyan Gulf of Syrtis. He also produced a map that denoted the Western Mediterranean as the Ancient Atlantic Sea (Mare Atlantico Antico) and more recently Alberto Arecchi has offered a map with a similar label (Mare Atlantico) attached to a large inland sea that incorporates chotts of Tunisia and Algeria, sometimes referred to as Lake Tritonis.
Grongnet De Vassé’s ideas were expressed in the second edition of a guidebook by Giuseppe Pericciuoli Borzesi issued from the Government Press in Malta in 1832 or 1833(a).
>Little appears to have been written about Grongnet deVasse in recent years. This was changed in October 2021, when Laura Tabone published a paper on the Ancient Origins website. She offers interesting background information about his life. Tabone refers to accusations that Grongnet was involved in a hoax to support his Atlantis theory, but concluded that “It’s not known why Grognet would have involved himself in such a complex hoax. As a former abbé and the designer of a grand Catholic church, it seems rather incongruous that he should behave in such a way. His ideological persuasions under Napoléon also make it seem as though his character was one of principle.”(c)<
(a) https://melitensiawth.com/incoming/Index/Melita%20Historica/MH.14(2004-07)/MH.14(2004)1/04.pdf (link broken July 2020)
(b) L’Atlantide, Ms. 614/5, National Library, Valletta.
(c) Maltese Architect’s Obsessive Lifelong Quest to Find Atlantis | Ancient Origins (ancient-origins.net) *