The majestic Verdala Palace, designed by the famed Girolamo Cassar and built in 1586 overlooking the Buskett Woodlands, was named in honour of Grand Master de Verdalle. The site was originally built on one floor and served as a hunting lodge. Grand Master Manoel De Vilhena later built the first floor of this palace, and added fountains and ponds, while Grand Master Lascaris enlarged the Boschetto by planting more trees. Towards the end of the reign of the Order in Malta this palace was abandoned and fell into a state of disrepair.
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 derelict and was used as a silk factory. After the Second World War in 1946 prior to its restoration, it was used as a minor hospital. For this reason the interior was painted white, covering all the murals. 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.