Verdala Palace - History and Facts | History Hit

Verdala Palace

Dingli, Malta, Malta

Verdala Palace in the Maltese town of Buskett was built in 1586 on the site of a hunting lodge used by the Knights of Malta. Today it is the official summer residence of the President of Malta and for Game of Thrones viewers it was the set of the house of Illyrio Mopatis in Pentos.

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About Verdala Palace

The eponymous Verdala Palace was built by and named for Grandmaster Hugues Loubenx de Verdalle, the 52nd Grandmaster of the Order of Malta. Constructed from 1586, it is located in Buskett Gardens, one of the few woodland areas of Malta.

History of Verdala Palace

The game hunting lodge on the site surrounding the dense woodlands of Buskett was built around 1555 and used by the Knights of the Order of St John and expanded into the palace 30 or so years later. Additional building work was added in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Each corner of the two-storey palace has towers of five storeys each, and since 1987 has served as the official summer residence of the President of Malta.

Over the years it has served as a military prison which held French soldiers captured by the Maltese or British during the French Blockade of 1798-1800, and a silk factory under British rule which subsequently fell into disrepair in the early 1800s.

After a full restoration by Governor Sir William Reid in the 1850s, Verdala Palace temporarily served as a minor hospital and the official summer residence for the British governors of Malta.

Verdala Palace Today

Since Verdala Palace is a private home, it is closed to the public. However, there are some scenic walks through Buskett Gardens and the local village of Siggiewi which offer stunning views of the Renaissance palace.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you will have already seen the palace in a different guise as the set of the exterior of the mansion of Illyrio Mopatis in Pentos.

Getting to Verdala Palace

From the centre of Malta, the palace is a 20 minute drive via Triq Sir Temi Zammit. The closest bus stop is called Verdala, after which the palace is a 4 minute walk.


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