The Palace Armoury is a showcase of the opulence of the Order of St John. Ruling the Maltese Islands from 1530 to 1798, these knights defended the Catholic faith against the attacks of the Ottoman Empire. Visitors can enjoy the armour suits of Grand Masters Alof de Wignacourt and Jean de Valette, Ottoman armour and weapons as well as a selection of artillery pieces.

The Knights of Malta, as they came to be known, formed a unique brotherhood of resolute warrior monks who defended the Catholic faith against the relentless attacks of the Ottoman Turks. A visit to the Armoury’s collection demonstrates how armour was not simply a means of defending the body against injury during combat but also a status symbol. The laboriously fashioned and lavishly decorated armour of some of the knights clearly illustrate this.

This great collection was brought to life by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt. It became the pride of the Order when he transferred it to the Magisterial Palace in 1604. At the time, besides being richly adorned with elaborate trophies of arms, it held enough weapons and armour to equip thousands of soldiers.

Following the forced departure of the Order of St. John from the islands, the armoury lost much of its original grandeur. The collection was revived after it was restored and exhibited in Malta’s first public museum in 1860. Although only a fraction of its original splendour remains, the Armoury still contains abundant material of Italian, German, French and Spanish origin from principal production centres. Among the most notable artefacts, visitors can view the unique display of suits of armour owned by Grand Masters Alof de Wignacourt and Jean de La Valette, armour and weapons used by the Ottoman Empire during the Great Siege of 1565, and a selection of artillery pieces.

The Palace Armoury will close its doors to the public on Wednesday 15th June until further notice.

The Palace Armoury

Museum, Palace

Temporarily Closed

Valletta, Malta

Gallery

Getting Here

Public Transport

The closest bus stop is 15 minutes by walk. Interested in getting here by public transport?

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