Malta National Library

The National Library of Malta is right next door to the Grand Master’s Palace in the heart of Valletta. There is even a bridge that links the two buildings. Essentially, the library is a reference library packed with historic journals, manuscripts and books which are significant to the history of the island. The main reason we’d suggesting visiting though is not to read an old manuscript, but simply to marvel at it’s beauty. In the main library room (pictured below) the bookcases, layout, display cases, paintings and filing drawers all add to the feel of the place.

The National Library reminded us of the kind of libraries you find in stately homes in that you can tell it’s about status as well as practicality. You wont be able to take out any books while you’re here, but an area is set aside for visitors to look around. Our visit lasted around 15 minutes, but we’re glad we went, if only to feel the grandeur of the building. It feels like a palace dedicated to books!

The library was founded by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in 1776 and is the home of the official archives of the order of St John, known as the ‘Hospitalers’ who created Valletta. Before this building, there was a smaller one where books that originally belonged to deceased member of the order were stored.

Admission is free, although you will need to provide ID at the security desk. Once inside, you climb an ornate marble staircase to the main reference room. For us, it is the building itself that is the star here, so enjoy looking at the detail of the stairs, the ceilings, the ornate lanterns, the windows and the arched canopy outside the main entrance.

The National Library of Malta is open to visitors every day except Sunday from 8.30am. The library closes to visitors at 4.30pm in the winter months and 12.30pm in the summer months and on Saturdays.


Address: Malta National Library, 36 Old Treasury Street, Valletta, Malta​​
Phone: +356 2598 3550


Malta National Library – Official Website
Malta National Library – Wikipedia
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