[vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content_no_spaces” disable_element=”yes” el_class=”page-hero-420″ css=”.vc_custom_1526374854874{background-image: url(https://opmtstweusa01.blob.core.windows.net/opmtstweusa01-cwp01/2017/12/banner-office.jpg?id=574) !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}”][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1511855639100{background-color: #ebebe9 !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1511863685745{padding-bottom: 125px !important;}”][vc_column_text el_class=”color-blue” css=”.vc_custom_1513712769533{margin-top: 20px !important;margin-bottom: 55px !important;}”]

auberge de castille

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The Auberge de Castille dominates the Xiberras hill, upon which the city of Valletta started to be built on the 28th of March 1566, shortly after the Great Siege of 1565. The first stone of the city is located within the Auberge. In fact, the Auberge de Castille is located in the square bearing its name and is the highest place in Valletta, with a height of about 180 feet.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”550″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small”]This Auberge belonged to the Langue of Knights of Castille and Leon, along with those of the Portuguese Order of St. John. It was built twice – in 1573 and 1741. Its story began on the 20th of September 1569, when the Langue of Castille purchased the land where the Auberge stands today, which was known as block No 19 and, during the General Chapter of 1570, this Langue was given the right to tax its members in order to raise money to build the Auberge de Castille.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”color-brown font-time”]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small”]The first Auberge was built in 1573 by the Maltese architect Ġlormu Cassar (1520-1592) and was one of the first buildings in the city of Valletta. The council of the Order had even considered building the Grand Masters Palace in this location; however, the plan changed when Eustachio del Monte, the nephew of the Italian Grand Master Pierre del Monte (1568-1572), built a house where today stands the President’s Palace. The Grand Master Del Monte persuaded the same Council of the Order to purchase this property and convert it into the Grand Master’s Palace.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”color-brown font-time”]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small”]On the 11th of January 1693, a powerful earthquake struck Malta leaving many damaged buildings in the city of Valletta, the Three Cities and Mdina. The Auberge de Castille suffered considerable damage, mainly on, the side of Merchants Street.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”color-brown font-time”]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small”]In 1736, many knights of the Langue of Castille started to feel the need to knock down the Auberge, and rebuild a larger building. On the 25th of April 1741, Master Domenico Cachia signed a public legal document to authorise the demolition and reconstruction of the Auberge.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”557″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”color-brown”]

The Auberge was rebuilt again by Maltese architect Antonio Belli (1703-1772), as we know it today in Baroque style between 1741 and 1745.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small paragraph-bottom-20″]It was built at the time of the Portuguese Grand Master Manuel Pinto de Fonseca (1628-1773) who belonged to the same Langue of the Auberge, and became Grand Master on the 18th of January 1741. A bust of Grand Master Manuel Pinto de Fonseca is located at the main door of the same Auberge.

In the short time of French rule (1798-1800), the Auberge was used as the headquarters of the French officials and as part of the Commission’s Office to manage the property and land that was still owned by the Order St John.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”color-brown font-time”]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small paragraph-bottom-20″]At the time of British rule, this building served as the headquarters of the British Army in Malta between 1859 and 1970. In 1860, a signal station pole was positioned on the roof of the Auberge de Castille, to communicate with the warships in the Grand Harbour.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”color-brown font-time”]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small paragraph-bottom-20″]An interesting fact is that in January of 1922, the matter of lack of space in the palace was raised in the Legislative Assembly (Parliament), and a resolution that was pushed forward was to ask the Governor to, with the consent of the Imperial authorities, to start using Auberge de Castille as the Parliament building. This issue lasted until 1929, whereupon the Maltese Government had put the demand aside because the military authorities refused to hand over the building.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”color-brown font-time”]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small paragraph-bottom-20″]The Auberge was also not spared from the wrath of the Second World War and on the 7th of April 1942, it was struck by a bomb with a very strong calibre, which shattered the signal station, tore down the main stairs and caused significant damage to the walls surrounding the courtyard.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”564″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center” css=”.vc_custom_1513714945871{margin-top: 15px !important;margin-bottom: 45px !important;}”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”color-brown font-time”]


[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small paragraph-bottom-20″]From the 6th of March 1972 to date, the Auberge de Castille serves its role as the Office of the Prime Minister. In all these years, the Auberge welcomed numerous dignitaries from every corner of the world, and is the place where the dedication and hard work of our predecessors led to the creation and strengthening of the Maltese nation. The greatest achievements in this regard, include Malta becoming a Republic on the 13th of December 1974, the achievement of freedom from British military bases on the 31st of March 1979, becoming a member state of the European Union on the 1st of May 2014 and the first Maltese Presidency of the European Union between January and June 2017.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”566″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text el_class=”font-extra-small paragraph-bottom-20″]Another key role of the Auberge de Castille was in the various international summits held in Malta. The three most major summits included the historic meetings between the President of the United States of America George Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, between the 2nd and 3rd of December in 1989, which created the start of the end of the Cold War. Another important summit was the Euro-Med, held in Malta between 15the and 16th April 1997. Of great importance was the international Valletta summit between the leaders of the European Union and the African continent, held in Malta between the 11th and 12th November 2015, which summit was held due to an initiative by the Maltese Government to discuss the problem of immigration from Africa to Europe.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]