Welcome to the Wignacourt Museum home page

The Wignacourt Collegiate Museum at Rabat Malta was formerly the baroque residence of the Chaplains of the Knights of St. John.  Originally inaugurated by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt (1601-1622), it has recently reopened after a thorough refurbishment of the whole building together with the restoration of most of the artworks which it presently hosts.

Initially located outside the former Roman City of Melite, the Wignacourt Museum forms part of a Pauline complex as it is materially linked to St Paul's Grotto, the cradle of Christianity in Malta. This is the place where St Paul the Apostle, in A.D. 60, is believed to have founded the first Christian Community on the island.

The building, fully completed in 1749, is on three levels: the underground level consists of a labyrinth of Punic, Roman and Christian Hypogea with interesting architectural features as well as a complex of World War II shelters with two main corridors and about fifty rooms.
The ground floor level consists of a corridor with a number of rooms used as offices and minor collections whilst on the other side is a spacious garden with a built area which once included the refectory of the Chaplains of the Order and an oven which during World War II provided daily more than 2000 loaves for the population of Rabat.

The first floor is the main exhibition space, as it has an impressive picture gallery with works by Mattia Preti, Antoine Favray, Francesco Zahra and other Maltese as well as European Artists. It also comprises a collection of 17th- 19th century Spanish, Italian and Maltese silver; a unique wooden altar used for the celebration of Mass on the galleys of the Order of the Knights of Malta; a collection of old relics and reliquaries, sculptures in wood, alabaster and bronze, including a medallion by Alessandro Algardi; maps, coins, prints and rare books among which is King Henry VIII's 'Septem Sacramants" written to confute Martin Luther and above all a baroque chapel for the private devotions of the residing chaplains.