Acquisition of an historical palazzo in Valletta, Malta.
In accordance with the requirements of the preservation of European culture and heritage LIVIA acquired a historically significant building in Malta. The palazzo was built in 1699 and is located at Melita Street in Valletta, next to the southern coast of Malta’s capital.
The representative two-storied palazzo consists of a spacious entrance hall with a courtyard behind and two halls at the back. The ground floor is equipped with numerous arches, vaults and pillars. Via one of the two internal staircases the first floor is reached. Above there the roof terrace is located, which allows a spectacular view over the city, the Grand Harbor and the opposite Fort Saint Angelo.
In 60 A.D. St. Paul was shipwrecked on the island while on his way to Rome and brought Christianity to Malta. The Arabs conquered the islands in 870 A.D. and left an important mark on the language of the Maltese. Until 1530, Malta was an extension of Sicily: The Normans, the Aragonese and other conquerors who ruled over Sicily also governed the Maltese Islands. It was Charles V., who bequeathed Malta to the Sovereign Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem who ruled over Malta from 1530 to 1798. The knights took Malta through a new golden age, making it a key player in the cultural scene of 17th and 18th century Europe. Therefore, the island is inextricably linked with the Order of Malta.
It was Pierre de Roussilion, a knight of the Order of Malta of the Langue of Provence, who started to build the palazzo at the end of the 17th century after coming over from France. Due to his membership to the order, he could settle down in Valletta, which was only just founded by Jean de la Valette – the 49th Grand Master of the Order of Malta. After he had to give up his heritage in Provence where his family ruled over extensive lands he reached Malta over detours. After a couple of years, de Roussilion could achieve modest prosperity through a solid trade relationship to France. Thus, he was able to fulfill his lifelong ambition to build a family residence adequate to his rank.