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Vittoriosa’s Auberge D’Angleterre

After the Order settled in Vittgoriosa in 1530 and enlarged the old Palace in Fort St Angelo as a residence of the Grand Master, they embarked on building seven Auberges for the Knights. An individual auberge was built for each langue except for Provence and Auvergne, which were incorporated within that for France.

The collacchio concept was abandoned and the auberges in Vittoriosa were built alongside other buildings and sometimes each auberge was separated by a considerable distance from the others.

The auberges in Vittoriosa were built around 1533 and their design is mainly of a new type referred to as Melitan architecture.

Auberge d’Angleterre and Auberge de France have similar plans based on the traditional Maltese layout (exhibiting significant Mediterranean/Arab influence) consisting of a central courtyard surrounded by rooms, having a central entrance flanked by rooms on either side underlying the main chambers (piano nobile) at first floor.

However, the layout of these auberges was determined by the size, definition and availability of plots within streets that were already partially built up and the alignment defined.

In fact, Auberge d’Angleterre incorporated an earlier single storied property and added a first floor.

According to Ward-Perkins, the plan consisted of a “barrel-vaulted entrance passage with a doorway on either side leading into rooms with flat roofs supported on a series of diaphragm arches”.

Additionally, “the first floor included a large room which served both as a mess and an assembly hall, other rooms mainly serving as dormitories, and a room which was reserved for the Pilier’s private use”.

The façade represents typical Maltese secular architecture along the lines of late medieval houses in Mdina.

The facade is also significantly plain broken only by the use of Melitan mouldings around the rectangular windows and double height corbels. This auberge, together with that of France, has survived relatively intact. Auberge D’Angleterre, Northwest Street, Vittoriosa was scheduled by Mepa as a Grade 1 national monument as per Government Notice number 1082/09 in the Government Gazette dated December 22, 2009.

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