On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October, Heritage Malta will be giving the public the opportunity to visit the Main Guard in Valletta, where restoration and conservation works are currently ongoing, including a new lease of life for hundreds of small paintings on the walls. Admission during this open weekend will be free of charge.
The Main Guard was probably built towards the beginning of the 17th century by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt to serve as quarters for the guards of the Grand Master’s palace, just across the square. This function was retained for more than 350 years, until the early 1970s.
During British rule, hundreds of pictures were painted on the Main Guard walls, mostly in the Officers’ Mess, where the guards ate and rested in between shifts. Painting was one of these soldiers’ pastimes, and in fact there are over 300 pictures, some of which were recently discovered during conservation and restoration works.
Opening times on Saturday 23rd will be from 11:00am until 10:00pm while opening times on Sunday 24th will be from 10:00am until 4:00pm.
Those who wish to visit the Main Guard during this open weekend are asked to express their interest by filling in the form below.
The event is FREE. This is not a booking form and you will not receive an acknowledgment of your interest. However, due to Covid-19 measures, we need to regulate the flow of visitors at any one time and thus you are required to kindly fill this form in if you wish to attend the event. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
An exasperated Officer yells at three distracted privates whose ‘line of sight’ has obviously been skewed by the exposed calves of a woman in a humorous 1914 wall painting in the Officer Mess at the Main Guard in Valletta. Entitled ‘Eyes on the mark’, the painting is signed by the artist W. Hunter, a member of the 2nd Bn. London Reg. (Royal Fusiliers).