Standing proud at the highest spot of Valletta, the Auberge de Castille, Leon et Portugal is one of Valletta’s most iconic monuments and arguably the finest building in Malta. Its sculptural frontal and side elevations dominate the fronting plaza and stand out from across the harbour. It is no coincidence that following the ousting of the Order in 1798 this building housed a succession of leading colonial offices, and was eventually adopted as the Office of the Prime Minister in 1972.


Rebuilt during the mid-17th century, the 50-metre façade of the Auberge de Provence dominates Valletta’s main thoroughfare. When completed, it was deemed to be the most beautiful of the then seven auberges at Valletta. Originally, this Auberge occupied the entire block, but its chivalric inquilines were forced to sell off the rear part of their compound to generate revenue.


In August 1570 Geronimo Cassar, Laparelli’s assistant and eventual successor, was appointed on the Officio delle Case and entrusted with the crafting of the buildings of the Religion. He rose to the occasion convincingly as confirmed by the impressive list of works attributed to him, including the auberges of the respective Langues. Of these, only one survives practically intact, namely the Auberge d’Aragon. This second poster, in a series of four, casts the light on this mannerist building.


Declared a World Heritage Site in 1980, the City of Valletta comprises one of the most dense clusters of high calibre built heritage worldwide. The long list features the monumental properties built by the Order of St John, including the palatial auberges. These served as headquarters, inns and meeting places for the members of the respective Langues, namely (1) Aragon, (2) Auvergne, (3) Castille, Leon & Portugal,  (4) England & Bavaria,  (5) France, (6) Italy, (7) Germany and (8) Provence. Unfortunately, the ones belonging to Auvergne, France and Germany fell victim of the ravages of time.