Vittoriosa (Birgu), Converted House of Character
Nestled within Birgu’s ancient hamlet, this exquisite House Of Character resides within a historic building dating back to the early 1500s, when it served as the original seat of the Order of St. John in Malta.
Imbued with timeless charm, the house has been meticulously restored by its current owner, transforming it into a splendid family residence while also obtaining an MTA license as a Guest House. Boasting four elegant suites, it offers a unique blend of hospitality that seamlessly fuses Eastern and Western influences. Guests are greeted by traditional Maltese architectural elements, gracefully intertwined with an eclectic collection of antiques gathered by the owners during their travels.
The house features two entrances. The main entrance opens into a grand living and dining area adorned with impressive arches, leading to a well-appointed kitchen. The second entrance grants access to a lift, a guest powder room, and a central courtyard adorned with a wood fireplace and a skylight that can be adjusted according to the season. An imposing spiral staircase commands attention in the courtyard, ascending to the roof level.
The first floor encompasses two double bedrooms. The first suite, situated in the former ‘Camera Nobile’, showcases a private alcove with a double bed and a unique balcony spanning approximately 50 sqm, overlooking the charming street below. The second suite, a 40 sqm twin room, exudes cozy elegance with its collection of exquisite antique furnishings and a captivating Maltese chandelier. For the observant eye, a hidden secret may be discovered within the thick walls.
Ascending to the second level, guests will find a twin suite adorned with an eye-catching wall feature inspired by Dame Vivienne Westwood, complemented by a private zen terrace enveloped by butterflies, and a private en-suite. The third level unveils a luminous double suite offering panoramic views of the historic neighborhood and the nearby Annunciation Church, providing a lofty vantage point.
The roof level is a tranquil oasis, perfect for relaxation, while the upper roof offers sweeping vistas of the marina, the cityscape stretching towards Valletta, and the majestic Grand Harbor.
This hidden gem presents a splendid opportunity for those seeking a stately residence in a historic city or individuals aspiring to operate a boutique hotel.
The Three Cities
Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua are the cities across the Grand Harbour from Valletta known as the Three Cities of Malta. It is to be said that the Maltese living in the area still call the cities Birgu, L’Isla and Bormla respectively. In the 17 th century the Order of St John decided to protect these cities by building two lines of defence known as the Cottonera lines and the Margarita Lines. Under the British the three cities were a hive of activity as the Grand Harbour became the home of the Royal Navy.
Vittoriosa is undoubtedly not only the oldest but historically the most important of the three. It developed around the earlier Fort St Angelo as a fishing village and was originally known as Birgu. When the Knights of the Order of St John arrived in Malta they settled in Birgu and declared it as their first capital city. Fort St Angelo was enlarged and Birgu flourished rapidly as the Knights spent considerable sums in building their auberges and churches.
Vittoriosa boasts many places of interest such as the first Conventual Church of the Order of St John dedicated to St Lawrence, Fort St Angelo, the National Maritime Museum and the Inquisitor’s Palace which incorporates a Folk Museum.
Today one finds various wine bars, cafes and restaurants catering for all tastes at the Cottonera Waterfront along an International Yacht Marina which hosts a significant number of super yachts. One also finds property finished to specifications of the highest standard.
With the development that has taken place in the last decades, the three cities are now attracting Maltese and visitors alike who are buying property and converting it to state-of-the-art homes.