Valletta’s most magnificent building dominates the heart of our capital city.
The Palace has been the seat of power in Malta since it was completed in the 16th century.
It was designed and built for the Knights of St John by Maltese architect Girolamo Cassar between 1571 and 1574. He was also responsible for designing many of Valletta’s buildings, including St. John’s Co-Cathedral.
Successive Grand Masters enlarged and developed the building to serve as their official residence. Later, during colonial times, it served as the Governor’s Palace, and was the seat of Malta’s first constitutional parliament in 1921, which was opened by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII.
Over the years, the Palace has hosted a series of VIPs, including The Queen, King George VI, King George V, King Edward VI and Pope John Paul II as well as US President George H.W. Bush, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and dozens of European and Commonwealth Prime Ministers
During heavy air raids and bombing attacks on Valletta in the Second World War, the palace suffered considerable damage. However, repairs helped to revive the building.
The Palace subsequently became the seat of Malta’s Legislative Assembly in 1947 and Malta’s first Parliament following Independence in 1964.
Today, as well as being the seat of the Office of the President of Malta, parts of the palace are open to the public, particularly the State Rooms and the Armoury.
The lavishly decorated State Rooms display several art collections of which many, such as The Great Siege Frescoes by Matteo Perez d’Aleccio, date back to the times of the Knights.
Beautifully designed tapestries are shown in the Tapestry Chamber, which was once the meeting place of the Council of the Order of St John.
Hosting one of the world’s largest collections of arms and armour, the Palace Armoury was opened as Malta’s first public museum in 1860.
Over the years, the Palace has played host to a series of VIPs, including The Queen, King George VI, King George V, King Edward VII, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Pope John Paul II, as well as Sir Winston Churchill, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and dozens of Prime Ministers from across Europe and the Commonwealth.