casaellul boutique hotel in valletta

Palaces in Malta Worth Visiting

  • Feb 7, 2020

Malta's vibrant history is reflected in these majestic palaces...

Visualize Malta’s vibrant history by visiting a couple of the following palaces when you’re next in Malta. 

  1. Auberge de Castille/Grandmaster’s Palace – Valletta

The Grandmaster’s Palace was originally built in the 1570s to serve as the primary residence of the Knights of St John. The present building, which dates back to the 1740s, was rebuilt by Manuel Pinto de Fonseca.

The Auberge is a fine piece of Baroque-style architecture. It’s situated in the heart of Valletta, overlooking the Grand Harbour area and the neighbouring town of Floriana. Today, it houses the office of Malta’s Prime Minister. 

  1. Palazzo Parisio – Naxxar

Another palace that was also used by the Knights of St John is Palazzo Parisio. Grandmaster de Vilhena (1722-1736) used this palace as a hunting lodge. 

Marquis Scicluna renovated the palazzo back in 1898. He sought to preserve original features such as the Orangerie and a couple of authentic architectural elements that make it the stunning palace it still is today. 

  1. San Anton Palace – Attard

This palace is widely known for being the official residence of the President of Malta. Initially built in the 17th century as a villa by Knight Antoine de Paule, it was eventually restructured into a palace when he was elected as Grandmaster in 1623. 

Several other Grandmasters also resided in this palace. Other notable tenants include the rebel National Assembly of 1798-1800, Civil Commissioners, Governors and Governors-General. 

  1. The Inquisitor’s Palace – Birgu

The Inquisitor’s Palace is an interesting piece of architecture. It’s got a lot of architectural diversity since the 62 Italian Inquisitors that resided in this wonderful palace all left their mark in one way or another. 

Here in Malta, the Inquisitor served as an intermediary between the Bishops and the Knights. The Inquisition remained an active part of the Knights’ ruling system until Napolean arrival in 1798 ended the Order’s occupation.

  1. Verdala Palace – Buskett

Grandmaster de Verdalle built the Verdala Palace in 1586 in the middle of the Buskett woodland. Over the years, the Palace saw a lot of changes. It was used as a military prison by the French (1798-1800) and also faced a period of sheer abandonment until Sir William Reid took it under his reign in 1858. Nowadays, it’s the official summer residence of the President of Malta. 

  1. Palazzo Falson – Mdina

Palazzo Falson, (a.k.a Palazzo Cumbo-Navarro, Casa dei Castelletti and the Norman House), is an example of 13th-century architectural splendour. 

It used to be the property of the Maltese aristocratic Falson family who built this palazzo in the 13th century. Back in the 1500s, it also housed Grandmaster L’Isle-Adam. Today, it’s a museum filled with a tonne of antique collections and stories from the past. 

  1. Palazzo Vilhena – Mdina

Palazzo Vilhena, or the Magisterial Palace, is Mdina’s very own French-Baroque palazzo. It’s named after Grandmaster De Vilhena. It was built between 1726 and 1728 and also had a two-century stint as a hospital (in the 19th and 20th centuries). In 1973, it was converted into Malta’s National Museum of Natural History (as it’s more commonly known today). 

Where to stay?

If you’ve always dreamed of living in a palace, now’s your chance to turn that dream into reality. Situated in the heart of Malta’s capital city Valletta, Casa Ellul is an authentic Victorian-era palazzo that’s been transformed into a boutique hotel. With nine exclusive suites, and hospitality and warmth a plentiful, there’s no better way to experience’s Malta’s history than to stay in a real-life palace!