Auberges in Valletta
The Auberges were buildings which were used as hostels by knights of the same langue or language. In some cases, there were more than one auberge for knights from the same country especially in cases where there were many knights coming from disparate parts of the country such as in the case of France and Spain. The surviving buildings in Valletta are all used for some form of public office as explained further below.
|Auberge de Castille|
Auberge de Castile y Leon
The building was originally constructed in the late 16th century by Girolamo Cassar but was extensively remodelled by Grand Master Emanuel Pinto de Fonseca between 1741 and 1744. The auberge is built on the highest point of Valletta and is one of the most recognisable buildings locally. The building is highly ornate with extensive masonry decorations and a bronze bust of Grand Master Pinto above the main entrance surrounded by a trophy of arms. This building is currently used as the office of the Prime Minister.
This impressive building is located on one of the main streets of the capital city and was constructed in 1574 by Girolamo Cassar. The building was substantially remodelled by Grand Master Caraffa in the late 17th century, who added the top floor. A bust of Caraffa and a marble trophy of arms are located above the main entrance. The courtyard contains a highly ornate triumphal arch which has the dates 1756 and 1862 carved above each other. The auberge has a number of commercial outlets on the three elevations which are at a lower level then the level of the main entrance. The difference in level between the streets was exploited for these shops which were rented out to supplement the income of the auberge. This building currently houses the Ministry for Tourism.
Auberge de Provence
This auberge is one of a very few buildings in Malta that has a surviving double pitched roof which is still largely original. It was also designed and constructed by Girolamo Cassar in the late 16th century although it was substantially remodelled and the facade was shifted to its current one at some point in the XXth century. The building houses a number of shops at ground floor which would have been rented out. The auberge currently houses the National Museum of Archaeology.
Auberge de Baviere
The auberge has been through a chequered history as it had various uses during its existence. It was originally constructed by the Bali of Acre as a private residence and it was called Palazzo Carniero. It was subsequently bought by the German knights and served as an auberge for 15 years. It was later used as a school and officer's mess prior to its current use. It is the least architecturally significant from all the auberges, possibly owing to the fact that it was not originally constructed as an auberge, although probably the one having the largest amount of varied past uses. The auberge is currently used as the Government Property Division offices
This auberge which appears to be a rather plain building set within a square has been modified least since its construction. Despite the rather austere facade, internally it is one of the most ornate with a large fountain and other decorations. The auberge survives intact and in fact traces of red ochre are still visible on its rear facade. The portico on the main elevation is the only addition to the building since its construction. This auberge currently houses the Ministry of European Affairs.
Auberge de France (destroyed - replaced by GWU building)
This auberge was destroyed during World War II and was subsequently demolished and a new building currently occupies the site.
Auberge d'Allemagne (destroyed - replaced by St Paul's Anglican Cathedral)
This auberge was located opposite Auberge d'Aragon but it was demolished to make way for the current buidling which is St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, the first Protestant church in Malta. The spire of this church is one of the most visible landmarks in Malta and the building is architecturally and histrocially significant in its own right.
Auberge d'Auvergne (destroyed - replaced by law courts)
This auberge was damaged during aerial bombardment in 1942 and was subsequently demolished and replaced with the current law courts that were constructed in the 1950s.
The location of the Auberges can be seen in the map below: