Described by experts at UNESCO as ‘one of the most valuable historic monuments of European culture’, Valletta’s Palace Armoury is as rich in history as it is beautiful.
A visit to the Palace Armoury – one of the world’s largest collections of arms and armour used for both military and sporting purposes – is an unmissable journey into Malta’s colourful and fascinating history.
Here’s just some of the reasons why you should add it to your itinerary for your holiday in Malta.
1. Experience Malta’s history up-close
Throughout Malta’s vibrant history, several countries and cultures have fought against or alongside the Maltese, and each have brought their own weaponry and armaments to the ensuing battles.
With authentic arms displayed that were originally used by soldiers in battle on the fortifications (by the Knights of St John between 1530 -1798, by Italian, German, French and Spanish troops over the centuries, and even by the Ottoman Turks during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565) this is your chance to experience history first-hand.
An official audio guide will also provide you with further insight into all the treasures on display.
2. Marvel at the armour of the Knights
There is nothing quite like being in Malta’s capital city Valletta and standing before the original armour worn by the man who created it, Jean de La Valette.
The Palace Armoury proudly displays unique suits of armour owned not only by de La Vallette, but also by other Knights of St John, including Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt.
The Knights of St John were an aristocratic brotherhood of warrior monks, and a key part of the crusades against the Ottoman Turks. The selection of arsenal displayed at the Palace Armoury is one of few tangible symbols left available in the world of the Order’s impact on this fascinating chapter of world history.
3. It’s in a palace
The clue is in the title: housed in the Grandmaster’s Palace in the heart of Malta’s capital city of Valletta, the Palace Armoury was originally displayed in a magnificent hall at the rear of the building, directly above its present location. Now it sits as a public museum within two halls that were originally the Palace stables, but the lavish décor in the Palace rooms on the way to the Armoury, as well as inside it, is worth the visit alone, before you even consider the artillery exhibits.
4. It’s in the capital city
Perhaps the most convenient part of a visit to the Palace Armoury is its location in the centre of Valletta, making it easy to add to your day of sightseeing in and around Malta’s historic capital.
Besides, there is nowhere better than in the city designed and built by the Knights of St John to explore their unique contribution to Malta’s past!
Want to take a trip to the Palace Armoury? Luckily, getting there is very easy! Just check out our Guide To Public Transport in Malta. And while you’re in Valletta, you can drop by some of the places mentioned in our 5 Great Coffee Shops to Check Out In Malta and Malta’s Best Shopping Streets too!