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One World - Protecting the most significant buildings, monuments and features of Valletta (68)

Buttiġieġ-Francia Palace

The Palace which replaced the former foundry of the Order, (hence it is also known as the Ferreria), is comprised of a whole block of four floors and basement.

The façades especially that on Triq ir-Repubblika, are richly decorated in an eclectic mix of architectural motifs prevalent of the late 19th century.

The decorations combine neo-classical, neo-gothic and local traditional architectural styles.

The architect managed to integrate the traditional Maltese closed wooden balconies with the bifora arched windows by repeating the arch as a fanlight protruding above the roof of the balconies.

Other features used on the stone of the façade, such as finials, were also included in the wooden balconies, thus making the design of the façade more homogenous. The building was the first to integrate timber balconies into the façade. This solution influenced other architects in Malta.

Between the second and third floors is a heavy cornice at the centre of which is an arched frontispiece set against the third floor with elaborate reliefs of the heraldry of Buttiġieġ and Francia. The Southwest entrance hall closer to Freedom Square has two marble statues, Europa and America, and leads to the monumental staircase in the foyer and the central courtyard.

Mepa scheduled the Buttigieg-Francia Palace as a Grade 1 national monument as per Government Notice number 276/08 in the Government Gazette dated March 28.

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