The Wignacourt Museum - Malta
The Wignacourt Museum will take you underground to St Pauls Grotto, Roman catacombs and war shelters, and above ground for an impressive art gallery, baroque chapel and various unique collections.
The Wignacourt Museum is Best For
Directions to The Wignacourt Museum
The Wignacourt Museum is a historical gem situated adjacent to Rabat's Parish Church of St Paul. The original building was commissioned as a baroque residence of the Chaplains of the Knights of Malta by Grand Master Aloph de Wignacourt in the early 17th century, completed on three levels in 1749, opened as a museum in 1981 and extensively refurbished and reopened bringing it back to its former glory in 2012.
The site on which the Wignacourt Museum is situated has a very special religious connotation as the underlying St Paul's Grotto is said to be the spot where St Paul the Apostle founded the first Christian Community on the island in A.D. 60. Apart from this holy grotto, there is an underground maze of Roman-era catacombs and hypogea and, further below, a vast and fascinating complex of World War II shelters consisting of two main corridors and fifty rooms that were excavated and used by Maltese families throughout the ordeal.
The Wignacourt Museum's main area is found on the upper floor which encompasses an impressive art gallery with works from European masters such as Mattei Preti, Francesco Zahra, Antoine Fayray and Giuseppe Cali amongst others. There is also a beautiful baroque chapel that was used by the Chaplains of the Knights of Malta for their private devotion and is still in use today. Other displays on the upper floor include embroidered period vestments, 17th- 19th century silver pieces, a collection of old relics, sculptures, coins, maps, prints and rare books.
The ground floor has a lovely spacious courtyard that is home to a café. It is also a space which local artists are encouraged to use as a laboratory for contemporary art and various events across a variety of artistic media are held throughout the year.
Opening times of the Wignacourt Museum are from 9.30am to 5.00pm daily. Ticket prices are very reasonable at €5 for adults, €3.50 for seniors and students and €2.50 for children (under 6 are free).
An overall highly recommended historical attraction that has lots of variety and brings an insight into various epochs under one roof.