The Domvs Romana sheds light on the private life and habits of an ancient Roman aristocrat. Very little was recovered of the noble Roman town house (domvs) itself, but the intricate mosaics and other artefacts that survived for centuries are testimony enough to the original richness of this dwelling.
Accidentally discovered in 1881, this site and the mosaics within, had the first ever purposely-built structure in the Maltese Islands meant to protect an archaeological site and collection within it.
Most of the Roman artefacts and antiquities, including the few remaining marble pieces scattered in the streets of Mdina, were transferred to this museum, officially opened in 1882. The museum then continued to serve as a repository for all the Roman artefacts found around the Island.
Throughout the years, the museum went through various renovations which included the addition of a façade with a triangular pediment and a large rectangular display room. The museum was closed during World War II, during which it was used as a small restoration centre. It was eventually re-opened to the public in 1945.
The Victorian-style displays were also modernised along the time. Apart from showing the complex history of the site, the current museum display is in fact designed to take the visitor through the various aspects of a Roman aristocratic family and household, with aspects ranging from the actual division of roles in a Roman family, to fashion, education, entertainment, and food and drink.
A highlight at this museum is the only set of marble statues portraying the Emperor Claudius and his family – artworks usually found in public spaces – that can be seen in a private house.
Museum, Archaeological Remains
Click link below for opening hours:
Domvs Romana, Wesgħet il-Mużew, Rabat, RBT 1202, Malta
Adults (18+): €6.00
Senior Citizens (60+): €4.50
Youths (12-17): €4.50
Concessions & Students: €4.50
Children (6-11): €3.00
Infants (1-5): Free
The Melite Civitas Romana Project
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Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to the most common questions
A villa is generally found in the countryside and is associated with specific activities (generally, of an agro-industrial nature) or may have bathing facilities, while a house is purely domestic and is to be found in urban contexts like a town.
Yes, with the exception of the columns.