Full Day Tours

Cities of the Knights
7/8 hours

Maritime Museum, originally the Arsenal of the Order


Tour Description

After 2 years of when they first arrived in Malta in 1530 the Knights settled in Birgu or as it is otherwise known, Vittoriosa.

We start with a walking tour of the 'Collacchio', the historical centre of Birgu and which is a maze of narrow winding streets. During our tour you will pass the original Auberges which the Knights lived in, the old armoury, hospital and oratory. We will visit the oratory which is a small church museum containing various relics of the Knights and other items of interest connected with the church and Birgu. The actual magisterial hat and sword used by Grandmaster de Valette during the Great Siege of 1565 have been recently restored and are exhibited here. At this point we make our way to the Birgu Waterfront. This is lined with majestic buildings because according to the Knights, visitors had perforce to approach Malta by sea and their assessment of the island was coloured by their first glimpse of its buildings which included beautiful and impressive palaces used as stores and warehouses and upper floors were offices and residences.

After a lunch break we continue our tour to Valletta. Valletta was built by the Knights of St. John in 1566 as an impregnable city.. The construction of the city was commissioned by Grandmaster de Valette. Here we include the Barraka Gardens which offer stunning views of the Grand Harbour and magnificent fortifications, a walk through important streets so you can admire the magnificent Palaces and other historical buildings built during the period of the Knights and we will also include an internal tour of both the Grand Masters Palace State Rooms and the magnificent St. John's Co. Cathedral, which was the church of the Order and also home to Caravaggio's masterpiece "Beheading of St. John" amongst other treasures.

© 2013 Joan Sheridan Freelance Tour Guide. All rights reserved.