Marvel at the splendours of Malta’s finest architecture
If you like nothing more than to see how the other half lived in days gone by, then Malta has plenty to offer the curious architecture enthusiast. Here’s the top five historical homes to explore whilst in Malta.
THE INQUISITOR’S PALACE, Vittoriosa
Over five centuries of history, Malta’s Inquisitor’s Palace has sat in the heart of Vittoriosa. Throughout, this unique building has been the residence of a steady succession of high-ranking officials from across Europe, who have each ensured its survival. The creative input from each inquisitor in residence successfully turned it into a typical Roman palace, that even survived the bombings of the Second World War. Today, it is the only surviving Inquisitor’s Palace in the world that is open to the public.
PALAZZO FALSON, Mdina
The former home of a son of a shipping merchant of Swedish descent, Palazzo Falson is as much an artefacts and antiques museum as a home. Now fully restored, this medieval palazzo is a treasure trove that features a variety of historical periods and styles throughout its rooms and courtyard.
PALAZZO PARISIO, Naxxar
As a picturesque 18th century palace in the centre of Naxxar, this refurbished stately home features everything from a grand ballroom to an intimate chapel, and goes outdoors to showcase an orange grove that spreads throughout expansive walled gardens. It doesn’t stop there either – there’s a decadently decorated restaurant, charming tearooms, and an exclusive boutique.
SAN ANTON PALACE, Attard
As the official residence of the President of Malta, San Anton Palace was originally built in the early 17th century and is surrounded by the extensive San Anton Gardens. A two-storey building with a high square tower that overlooks the surrounding area, the Palace also is home to two chapels and private ‘secret’ gardens that are occasionally open to the public. Visitors, however, are sure to enjoy the huge variety of plant species, birds and the several magnificent fountains that feature in San Anton Gardens in front of the Palace.
GRANDMASTER’S PALACE, Valletta
Standing in the heart of Valletta, the Grandmaster’s Palace is not only the official Office of the President, but also serves as the House of Representatives. The building was one of the first founded by Grand Master Jean de Valette when creating the city of Valletta in 1566.The Palace is also home to an Armoury and magnificent State Rooms, both of which open to the public and packed full of unique paintings and tapestries that are worth the visit alone!
Bonus: VILLA BOLOGNA, Attard
Looking like a scene right out of a fairy-tale, Villa Bologna is one of Malta’s most elegant aristocratic houses. It was originally built in 1745 as a dowry for a count’s daughter, and has been embellished throughout the years with lush gardens, fountains, ponds and a citrus grove. Sitting just a stone’s throw away from San Anton, mentioned above, the villa’s grounds are accessible to guests and, as you can imagine, it is also one of Malta’s most sought-after wedding venues.
Hungry for more history? Check out our 5 Unmissable Historical Sites in Malta!