As I was walking on the pathways of Buskett Gardens I could not help noticing the castle there, what you can see almost from every spot of the garden. As we learnt at the school: a building on the top of the hill, surrounded by high rock walls must be a castle. It kept me thinking, what kind of palace or castle might it be. I discussed it with myself and at the end I just finished my train of thought with an adjective: It must be… you know, just a “normal” castle. Well, it was not.
But my brain just couldn’t rest and unintentionally I found myself walking on the road leading to the castle. First I ended up at closed and locked gate, but after I had a closer look about the place, my curiosity didn’t stop bothering me. So I found another way towards the castle: walking up on the hill, next to the high castle walls. For my big luck I heard noises from inside, so I didn’t give up the hope that somehow I will get in.
By now I already know the building is called Verdala palace. It was built by Grandmaster Hughues Loubenx de Verdalle in 1586. The palace was embellished over the years by Grandmaster Jean de Lascaris-Castellar and Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena. The building itself is two floors high and has five storey towers at each corner. During 1800 the palace was used as a military prison by Napoleon and was largely abandoned after the French forces left Malta. Verdala palace was restored by Governor Sir William Reid by 1858 and was the official summer residency of the Governors of Malta during British rule.
Verdala palace today is the summer residence of the President of Malta. The palace is not open to public, but with my self-confidence and nice smile I managed to get behind the walls, to hear a short introduction about the place and to shoot few pictures.
As I mentioned above Verdala is generally closed to public, however there are some exceptions. Charity events are organized there, like for example the annual Ball of the August moon. The noises I heard from outside were the sounds how the workers were disassembling the constructions from the Boxing Day charity event organized at the palace. As I was informed they collected more than 3 million EUR donations in aid of L-Istrina.
After I figured out what that mysterious place was and also got a chance to enter the area, I was leaving happy and satisfied with the information I received and with the shoots I made. Just take a look, wouldn’t be nice to have a holiday house like that? 🙂