Palazzo Falson in Mdina, Malta
You will have inevitably heard of the silent city of Mdina, a beautifully maintained Medieval city in the West of the island. Palazzo Falson is a typical two-storey medieval palace fashioned on Sicilian examples of its period, and is one of the imposing Palazzi built by the nobility in Mdina. It was once the home of Capt Olof Frederick Gollcher OBE (1889-1962), the son of a prosperous shipping merchant of Swedish descent. The Palazzo is built around a courtyard in a similar manner of a Moroccan Riad. This keeps the interior of the house cooler in Summer which, in a hot country such as Malta, is vital.
Of particular interest to those staying with us at our 16th Century townhouse in Birgu is the house chapel at the Palazzo. This is an example of a fully functional house chapel which gives one an idea of what Indulgence Divine's bedroom would have looked like originally as a chapel.
Gollcher was a collector of objets d’art and historical objects, filling the house with his travel collections. He left both his collections and house to his foundation who, with Heritage Malta, opened it to the public. The displays are engaging but you’ll get much more from the experience if you ask for the audio guide. The tour should only last approximately 2 hours. Have a coffee at the cafe at the top floor of the house, even if it's just for the view.
- Look out for the ten hour watch on display. Just when you thought we had too little time in the day, the decimal watch was introduced by the French in Napoleonic times when they attempted to introduce a decimal time-keeping system.
- Notice the lovely tiles around the kitchen fireplace featuring various Maltese characters, presumably engaged in different occupations.
- The library houses some highly collectible books. Among them are the two official histories of the Order of St John, namely, Dell’Istoria della Sacra Religione, by Giacomo Bosio, and continued by Bartolomeo Del Pozzo, and the Abbe de Vertot’s Histoire des Chevaliers Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jerusalem (1726). A version of the latter in English, entitled The History of the Knights of Malta (1728) is also present in this collection.
Villegaignon Street, Mdina | +356 2145 4512 | Website