The Grand Master’s Palace has been the administrative centre of Malta for almost three and a half centuries. The original palace, built in 1571, was the seat of the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitalliers of St John and later, during the British colonial period, served as the Governor’s palace. Today it is home to the House of Representatives of Malta and the office of the President of the Republic of Malta.
The State Apartments
When not hosting functions of state, the magnificent halls at first floor are open to the public. The Council Chamber is home to a rare collection of exotic Gobelin tapestries depicting hunting scenes from different continents. The State Dining Room is adorned with portraits of the Presidents of Malta and one painting of Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Malta. The Supreme Council Hall is decorated with a cycle of twelve frescoes by Mattia Perez d’Aleccio depicting the Great Siege of 1565. The Ambassador’s Hall and main corridors are lined with portraits of European monarchs and Grand Masters of the Order.
The Palace Armoury
The Age of Chivalry comes alive in one of the most prominent arms collections, with weapons and armour that provide a human context to the Great Siege of Malta, and the military provenance of the Knights of St. John. Highlights include the personal armour of Grand Master La Valette, the dazzling parade armour of Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt, and a collection of weapons used by the Ottomans during the Great Siege of 1565.
- The extraordinary Gobelin tapestries in the Council Chamber, a personal gift of the Spanish Grand Master Ramon Perellos y Rocaful.
- The frescoes in the Supreme Council Hall, by Mattia Perez d’Aleccio, depicting the Great Siege of Malta of 1565.
- The courtly and lavish parade armour of the Knights of Malta.
- The Turkish Armour in the Islamic and Ottoman displays.
Palace Square, Valletta, Malta.
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- The Palace is 10 minutes walk from Valletta’s Bus Terminus.
- Mon - Sun from 10am to 4pm. Last admission 30 min before closing time.
- Closed on 24, 25 & 31 Dec, 1 Jan, Good Friday.
- Palace State rooms are closed when Parliament is in session and during State functions.
- Joint fees to Palace Armoury and the Palace State Rooms:€12 adults (€17 with audio guide), €8 concessions, €8 children.
- Fees to the Armoury when the Palace State Rooms are closed: €6 adults, €4 concessions, €4 children.
Palace Armoury – Opening hours:
- Mon-Sun – 09.00-5.00pm.
- Last admission 4.30pm.
- Closed: 24, 25 & 31 December, 1 Jan, Good Friday.
The Knights of Malta
A Knight of Malta describes the 1000-year long epic history of his Order.