Inquisitor's Palace

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Inquisitor's Palace View map

Situated in the heart of Birgu, the Inquisitor’s Palace is one of the very few surviving buildings of its kind which in the early modern period could be found all over Europe and South America. Many of these palaces simply succumbed to the ravages of time or were victims of the anti-reactionary power which was unleashed by the French Revolution.

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Situated in the heart of Birgu, the Inquisitor’s Palace is one of the very few surviving buildings of its kind which in the early modern period could be found all over Europe and South America. Many of these palaces simply succumbed to the ravages of time or were victims of the anti-reactionary power which was unleashed by the French Revolution.

Throughout its five centuries of history, the Maltese Inquisitor’s Palace, always hosted high-ranking officials representing the main powers on the island, who therefore ensured its survival. The palace also managed to endure through the bombings of the Second World War and the threat of modern development.

Mgr Pietro Dusina arrived in Malta in 1574 as the first General Inquisitor and apostolic delegate of the Maltese Islands. The Grand Master offered him the unused palace as an official residence. Almost all successive inquisitors sought to transform the palace into a decent mansion. They all shared the same cultural values of clerical baroque Roman society, and by the mid-18th century they had succeeded to transform the building into a typical Roman palace.

Being the only Inquisitor’s Palace which is nowadays accessible to the general public, this architectural gem presents an exclusive experience. Visitors can explore the historic reconstructions of the domestic kitchen area, the sophisticated ambience of the piano nobile, the private quarters, the austere setting of the Holy Office Tribunal, the prison complex and the torture chamber.

The building houses the National Museum of Ethnography with permanent displays on Malta’s religious traditions as consolidated by the Inquisition.

A Tourist Information Office is also conveniently located on site.

Other Heritage Malta museums and sites in Birgu: Malta Maritime Museum and Fort St Angelo.

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