Palazzo Ferreria

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Palazzo Ferreria
Palazzo Ferreria during restoration 08.jpg
Palazzo Ferreria during restoration in 2017[1]
Former names Palazzo Francia
General information
Status Intact
Type Palace
Architectural style Venetian Gothic[2]
Location Valletta, Malta
Coordinates 35°53′48.6″N 14°30′36″E / 35.896833°N 14.51000°E / 35.896833; 14.51000
Named for John Louis Francia
Completed 1876
Owner Government of Malta
Technical details
Material Limestone
Design and construction
Architect Giuseppe Bonavia[3]

Palazzo Ferreria, officially Palazzo Buttiġieġ-Francia,[4] is a palace found near the entrance of Valletta, the capital city of Malta. It was built in the late 19th century.[5] Designed by Architect Giuseppe Bonavia, it was the first building to introduce timber balconies on the islands, it is a grade 1 national monument.

History[edit]

On the plot of the palace a former foundry of the Order of St John existed to manufacture the knight's armaments. Giuseppe Buttigieg and his wife Giovanna Camilleri acquired the land from the government, and they built Palazzo Ferreria in the late 19th century. Visibly on the façade are the coat of arms of Buttiegieg and Camilleri, the palace was left as dowry to their daughter Teresa Buttigieg. She married Colonel John Louis Francia for whom the Palace got its name for a while. Francia was a Spanish citizen from the British colony Gibraltar, and the two met in Malta while Francia was on duty with the British army. Palazzo Ferreria is the second biggest palace in Valletta after the Grandmaster's Palace.[5]

During World War II several buildings in Valletta suffered structural damage including minimal damage to Palazzo Ferreria on the left

The Francia family resided at the palace until the end of World War Two, in 1947, the war had destroyed or partly damaged most buildings in Valletta. The Labour government, led by Dom Mintoff, rented part of the palace from the Francia for the Public Works Department, to reconstruct and restore Valletta from the war damage, the family kept a small part of the palace as an apartment which is now used as a Maltese government Ministry's office.[6] The Francia sold the palace in 1979 to the government which was administered once again under Prime Minister of Malta Dom Mintoff. Today the lower parts of the palace consist of several shops.[5]

One of the entrances of Palazzo Ferreria, now a clothes shop.

Architecture[edit]

The architect of Palazzo Ferreria is Giuseppe Bonavia, who also designed the Lija Belvedere Tower and La Borsa.[7] Bonavia is accredited to be the first architect to introduce the timber balconies on façades, beginning with the Palazzo Ferreria, this took place in the 19th-century and has influenced several architects and Maltese populace in general, something that is still visible and prevalent today. The palace is scheduled as a grade 1 national monument by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA).[8]

Gallery[edit]

Interior of Palazzo Ferreria

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scicluna, Edward (17 October 2016). "Health, Sports and Culture". Budget Speech 2017 (PDF). Valletta: Ministry for Finance. pp. 139, 140. ISBN 978-99957-58-15-8. 
  2. ^ Bugeja, Lino (4 January 2015). "Valletta – vibrant city of many styles". Times of Malta. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  3. ^ Bugeja, Lino; Buhagiar, Mario; Fiorini, Stanley (1993). "Artistic, architectural and ecclesiastical aspects". ISBN 9990944024, 9789990944020. p. 454.
  4. ^ Gauci, Joseph (19 January 2009). "Brief history of Palazzo Ferreria". Times of Malta. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Gauci, Joseph (19 January 2009). "Brief history of Palazzo Ferreria". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Ministry of Education, Employment and the Family". malta.com. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. 
  7. ^ Sant Fournier, Steve. "Villa Gourgion and the Lija Belvedere". user.orbit.net.mt. Archived from the original on 2 October 2015. 
  8. ^ http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20090106/opinion/one-world-protecting-the-most-significant-buildings-monuments-and.239713

External links[edit]