Auberge de Provence

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Auberge de Provence
Berġa ta' Provenza
Auberge de Provence, Republic Street, Valletta.jpg
Façade of Auberge de Provence
General information
Status Intact
Type Auberge
Architectural style Mannerist
Location Valletta, Malta
Coordinates 35°53′51″N 14°30′45″E / 35.89750°N 14.51250°E / 35.89750; 14.51250Coordinates: 35°53′51″N 14°30′45″E / 35.89750°N 14.51250°E / 35.89750; 14.51250
Current tenants National Museum of Archaeology
Construction started 1570s
Renovated 1638
Owner Government of Malta
Technical details
Material Limestone
Floor count 2
Design and construction
Architect Girolamo Cassar
Renovating team
Architect Mederico Blondel

Auberge de Provence (Maltese: Berġa ta' Provenza) is an auberge in Valletta, Malta. It was built in the sixteenth century to house knights of the Order of Saint John from the langue of Provence, it now houses the National Museum of Archaeology.

History[edit]

Auberge de Provence was first built in 1571 or 1574–75 to a design by Girolamo Cassar.[1] Prior to its construction, the Langue of Provence had been housed in the Auberge d'Auvergne et Provence in Birgu.

Auberge de Provence surrounded by rubble from bombed buildings, 11 May 1942.

The building was extensively renovated in the 17th century, its façade was redesigned in 1638 by the architect Mederico Blondel, and a new wing was built instead of a small square.[1]

In 1798, the Order lost Malta to the French, and the auberge was vacated, after the islands fell under British rule in 1800, it was used for a variety of purposes, including a hotel and a military barracks.[2] In 1826, the upper part of the auberge was leased to the Malta Union Club, and the lease was set to expire in 2002, the lease extended to the entire building in 1903.[3]

The building was included on the Antiquities List of 1925 together with the other auberges in Valletta;[4] in World War II, buildings located close to the auberge were destroyed by aerial bombardment, but the auberge itself was not hit. Since Auberge d'Auvergne and Auberge de France were both destroyed during the war, Auberge de Provence is the only surviving French auberge in Valletta.

On 12 August 1955, the lease to the Malta Union Club was terminated, and building was opened as the National Museum (now known as the National Museum of Archaeology) in 1958 by the Minister of Education Agatha Barbara, it houses many artifacts dating back to the Neolithic up to the Phoenician Period.[5][6]

The auberge is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.[7]

Architecture[edit]

Top floor of the auberge's façade

Auberge de Provence was originally built with Mannerist characteristics typical of its architect Girolamo Cassar. However, very little of Cassar's original design has survived, due to the extensive renovation in the mid-17th century.

The auberge's interior consists of rooms roofed by diaphragm arches with wooden beamed ceilings and gilded panelling, the most ornate room is the Grand Salon on the first floor, which was used for business discussions, and as a refectory and banqueting hall, where knights sat at long tables according to seniority.

Commemorative coins[edit]

Auberge de Provence was depicted on two commemorative coins minted in 2013 by the Central Bank of Malta, the coins show the auberge's façade on the reverse and the coat of arms of Malta on the obverse.[2][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "the auberge de provence". angelfire.com. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Auberge de Provence". Central Bank of Malta. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "Welcome". The Malta Union Club. Archived from the original on 25 July 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Protection of Antiquities Regulations 21st November, 1932 Government Notice 402 of 1932, as Amended by Government Notices 127 of 1935 and 338 of 1939". Malta Environment and Planning Authority. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "National Museum of Archaeology". Heritage Malta. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 
  6. ^ Sultana, Sharon (2006). The National Museum of Archaeology. Santa Venera: Heritage Books (subsidiary of Midsea Books Ltd). ISBN 9993270768. 
  7. ^ "Auberge de Provence" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 28 December 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "Auberge de Provence gold and silver coin issue". Times of Malta. 26 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2015. 

External links[edit]