Grandmaster's Palace and Armoury, Valletta (must see)
The front of the Grandmaster's Palace showcases a Mannerist architectural style, known for its simplicity and restraint, a hallmark of its designer, Cassar. The front is notably asymmetrical, a result of various modifications over the years. It features two primary entrances, each with an arched doorway set within a decorative frame, leading to an overhead balcony. The building also sports traditional closed timber balconies at its corners, with both the framed entrances and balconies being additions from the 18th century. Originally, the palace's exterior was coated in red ochre, a pigment the Order used to denote public buildings.
Since 1860, the Palace Armory, an extensive collection of arms within the Grandmaster's Palace, has been accessible to the public. It served as the Order of Saint John's main armory in the 17th and 18th centuries, marking the last such arsenal created by a crusading military order. Although only part of the original collection remains today, it still ranks among the largest collections of arms and armor kept in their original location globally.
The palace is organized around two courtyards, with one featuring a Neptune statue. The collection ranges from actual armor worn in battles on Maltese soil against Arab or Byzantine forces to swords and cannons, offering a vivid journey through history.
The armory can also be visited on a joint ticket with the nearby Palace State Rooms, which are full of history and beautiful to look at. To get to the rooms, there are four flights of stairs or a lift to take.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Valletta. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Grandmaster's Palace and Armoury on Map
Walking Tours in Valletta, Malta
Valletta was founded in the 16th century. Many of the original buildings were built by the Knights Hospitaller. The city was named for Jean Parisot de Valette, famous for defending the island from the Ottomans during the Great Seige of Malta... view more
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Many of these architectural monuments have proudly withstood the test of time... view more
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles