National Library of Malta, Valletta

4.2
The National Library of Malta, often known as the Bibliotheca, is a reference library in Republic Square, Valletta, Malta. It was founded by Grand Master Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc in 1776 out of the collections of the knight Louis Guérin de Tencin. It has been a legal deposit library since 1925, and it has the largest collection of Melitensia along with that of the University of Malta. The library also contains the archives of the Order of St. John, the Università of Mdina and the Università of Valletta.The library is housed in a late 18th-century neoclassical building in the city centre, close to the Grandmaster's Palace.HistoryThe origins of the National Library of Malta go back to 1555, when Grand Master Claude de la Sengle decreed that all books belonging to deceased members of the Order of St. John are to be passed to the Order's treasury.In 1760, Louis Guérin de Tencin, the Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order, purchased a collection of 9700 books which had belonged to Joaquín Fernández de Portocarrero for 7000 scudi. A year later, he opened a public library in a building known as Il Forfantone in Valletta, containing books from his own library as well as Portocarrero's collection, the library of Comm. Sainte-Jay (which was previously kept at the sacristy of the Conventual Church of St. John), and books donated by members of the Order. De Tencin appointed Giovanni Pietro Francesco Agius de Soldanis as librarian, and paid his salary himself. De Tencin died in 1766 before managing to secure funds for maintaining the library.
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National Library of Malta Reviews
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139 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Beautiful building and the area. Next, plenty of places to relax. In the Centre stood a strange figure in February: human head with finger prodernutym from ear to ear. That's cool.
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  • Visit the library a rainy day, just to make something interesting without getting wet... Unfortunately, several rooms are closed or blocked by a cord so that you can see what the audio guide described... Light is not only insufficient but also very functional, here again there are not many tables, the paintings in the ceiling. The height is reached with the Hall of the tapestries, totally immersed in the dark or almost, so you can't see anything! As for the books, which is necessarily present in a library, we have seen no!
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  • I thought this was a strange place for these outdoor patios. Like other reviews noted, in order to get to the entrance, one has to walk through restaurant patios on both sides. Almost missed this wond...  more »
Google
  • I think you need to be very interested in the history of Malta to appreciate this library. I love libraries in general and thought it was a regular library, but it's not. The entrance staff could have been more friendly also.
  • Nice building. It is the national library.
  • Historical place. Please come.
  • Beautiful building and many bars, seats around.
  • Best Maltese library!!
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