National Library of Malta, Valletta

4.2
#36 of 69 in Things to do in Valletta
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
126 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • August 11, 2017
    Placed in the Centre of Valletta, surrounded by bars and restaurants. Must see while touring the Valley, night view of the square with the statue of Queen is very pretty.
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  • July 18, 2017
    For a library, it is very beautiful from outside. It seems that you need some paperwork to get inside.  more »
  • July 3, 2017
    Situated in the heart of Valletta with a nice restaurant in front of the building. Will upload photos when this review is approved.  more »
Google
  • March 2, 2017
    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.
  • June 11, 2017
    Beautiful building and many bars, seats around.
  • September 10, 2016
    Amazing heritage place, it seems to go back hundreds years. Everything is history here
  • February 16, 2017
    A perfect ambience for historical research
  • March 5, 2017
    Nice place :)

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Where to stay in Valletta

The small city of Valetta offers fewer lodging options than some of Malta's larger cities, but accommodations include everything from upscale hotels to less-expensive guesthouses. Stay in the city center at one of several old-fashioned hotels to be in close proximity to sights like St. Johns Co-Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, multiple museums, and a wide variety of restaurants. One fun option involves renting traditional Valletta houses that have been converted into rental properties and date back to the time of the Knights of Malta. Smaller bed and breakfasts are dispersed throughout the city. Book well in advance to avoid high prices.
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8 days in Valletta BY A USER FROM POLAND December, kids, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Malta SEE PLAN September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Malta BY A USER FROM TURKEY October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Malta BY A USER FROM LATVIA December, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 36 days in Europe & Rabat BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Malta BY A USER FROM CANADA November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Valletta BY A USER FROM MALTA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Malta BY A USER FROM CANADA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Italy, London & Valletta BY A USER FROM CANADA December, teens, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Malta BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Malta BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Malta BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES November, outdoors, beaches, museums, popular PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, beaches, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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