Sacra Infermeria

The imposing building of the Sacra Infermeria in Malta is located adjacent to Fort St Elmo and overlooking the Grand Harbour. It was one of the best hospitals ruled by the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

"Work on this vast edifice started during late 1574 during the reign of Grand Master Jean de la Cassiere (1572-82) and was extended several times over the years. The “Old Ward” which is the main attraction was extended into the “Great Ward” during the years 1660 to 1666 under the rule of the Cotoners. This hall measuring 155 metres in length, was at that time one of the largest in Europe and was described as “one of the grandest interiors in the world”. The Sacra Infermeria was considered to be one of the best hospitals in Europe and could accommodate 914 patients in an emergency"1.

The Sacra Infermeria has been used as a hospital up to 1918. Since 1979, after important works of renovation, it hosts the Mediterranean Conference Centre and The Knights Hospitallers Museum.

  • Photos by Robert Diana (July 2012)

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