Auberge de Castille
Built to replace a 16th-century residence of the Knights of St. John from Castile, Leon, and Portugal, the two-story Auberge de Castille dates from the magistracy of Grand Master Manuel Pinto da Fonseca and was designed by architect Andrea Belli between 1741 and 1744. Among its other roles, it functioned as the headquarters for French, British, Maltese, and Cypriot forces before becoming the Prime Ministerial seat in 1972.
The Auberge de Castille is a staple on all Valletta tours, along with landmarks such as St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the City Gate. Visitors can pause to admire the building's facade as a guide explains its history. As it’s floodlit at night, the Auberge also features on evening tours that showcase the island’s—and Valletta’s—illuminated landmarks.
Things to know before you go
*The Auberge is a must-see for first-time visitors and history and architecture fans. *Opt to see it on a walking tour to learn about its history. *Bring your camera: the Auberge stands on a large, traffic-free square, allowing for great panoramic shots.
How to get there
The Auberge stands on Castille Square in eastern old Valletta, near the Upper Barrakka Gardens. Much of the old city is traffic-free, so the best way to reach the building is on foot, either independently or on a tour. If you’re traveling from elsewhere on Malta, alight at Valletta’s main A1 bus terminal and make the 5-minute walk from there. Drivers will find parking lots outside Valletta’s City Gate.
When to get there
Visitors can check out the Auberge’s exterior whenever they wish, although access to Castille Square may be limited on official occasions. The square can get busy in high summer, so to view the facade without the crowds, arrive in the early morning. The Auberge looks stunning after dark, when floodlights are used to impressive effect.
- Upper Barrakka Gardens
- Lascaris War Rooms
- Valletta Waterfront (Pinto Wharf)
- National Museum of Archaeology, Malta
- St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity (Spazju Kreattiv)
- St. John's Co-Cathedral (Kon-Katidral ta' San Gwann)
- Malta 5D
- Church of St. Paul's Shipwreck
- Grandmaster's Palace
- Grand Harbour
- Teatru Manoel
- Casa Rocca Piccola
- Lower Barrakka Gardens
- Great Siege of Malta & the Knights of St. John
- Marsamxett Harbour