The majestic Verdala Palace was designed by the famed Girolamo Cassar and built in 1550/1560 during the reign of Grand Master de Valette. It overlooked the Buskett woodlands and when it was expanded in 1586 during the reign of Grand Master de Verdalle it was named in his honour. The palace was originally limited to one floor and served as a hunting lodge. Grand Master Manoel De Vilhena later built another floor, and added fountains and ponds, while Grand Master Lascaris enlarged the Boschetto by planting more trees.
During the French Blockade, Verdala Palace served as a military prison for French soldiers, whilst at the beginning of the British rule the palace was used as a silk factory. After the Second World War in 1946 it was used as a temporal minor hospital. For this reason the interior was painted white, covering all the murals. It then fell into a state of disrepair. It was after 1975 that this palace was given back its dignity and restored to its former glory, to be used as a residence for official guests of the Government of Malta.
An interesting story linked to this palace is that of the famous “Blue Lady” who is said to roam the palace. The story goes that a lady was kept here against her will and fell to her death whilst trying to escape. Legend has it that the blue lady is seen roaming the building wearing a blue dress, the same dress she had worn when she died.
The Palace currently serves as the summer residence of the President of Malta and is generally closed to the public.
Performances at Verdala Palace
GERMAN CELEBRITY COMPOSERS: FROM CONCERTO TO OPERA
SUNDAY 12, JANUARY
Discover the beautiful music of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach along with the renowned works of Handel and Telemann in the wonderful setting of Verdala Palace.
NEL MEZZO DEL CAMMIN DI NOSTRA VITA
FRIDAY 24, JANUARY
This lunchtime concert will be a musical journey, taking the audience through the three after-worlds lying beyond our mortal life inspired by Dante Alighieri’s descriptions in the Divina Commedia.
RENAISSANCE VARIATIONS - MARAIS - BACH
SUNDAY 19, JANUARY
This concert takes you from one musical era to another. It starts with demonstrating the power of the rich diminution traditions of the Renaissance, when most of the instruments we now think of as “Baroque” - such as the recorder and viola da gamba - were fully de-veloped. Followed by the apogee of writing for the viola da gamba and the recorder fea-turing baroque masterpieces by Marin Marais and Johann Sebastian Bach.
THURSDAY 23, JANUARY
Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Barbara Strozzi’s birth, this captivating programme delves into the musical and personal lives of Strozzi and two other great baroque composers, Monteverdi and Carissimi.