Palazzo Ferreria

Palazzo Ferreria
Palazzo Ferreria during restoration 08.jpg
Palazzo Ferreria during restoration in 2017[1]
Former namesPalazzo Francia
General information
StatusIntact
TypePalace
Architectural styleVenetian Gothic[2]
LocationValletta, Malta
Coordinates35°53′48.6″N 14°30′36″E / 35°53′48.6″N 14°30′36″E / 35.896833; 14.51000
Named forJohn Louis Francia
Completed1876
OwnerGovernment of Malta
Technical details
MaterialLimestone
Design and construction
ArchitectGiuseppe 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

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.