Think you’ve visited all of Malta’s museums? Think again!
There is no doubt that for a tiny country, we have a great wealth of history and artefacts. Most of these are on display in our most famous museums, including the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta and the National Museum of Natural History in Mdina. There are also some incredible stately homes to visit such as Palazzo Falson in Mdina… Yet the lists you often find online rarely include all the museums on the islands; particularly those off the beaten track!
The Toy Museum
Located just opposite the better-known Casa Rocca Piccola on Republic Street, Valletta, The Toy Museum houses an impressive collection of toys from the 1950s onwards, including Matchbox cars, dolls, model planes and farmyard animals. It’s been open since 1998 and was the brainchild of Vincent Brown, who got the idea after visiting a similar museum in England.
Baby Jesus Museum
Every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Paul Pace, a collector of statues of the Baby Jesus, opens up a small museum in Birkirkara featuring some 1,500 examples! Among its most illustrious visitors to the museum was His Eminence Cardinal Francis Arinze, Head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, while on a private holiday here in Malta in 1996.
Although small, the Villa Frere museum in Pieta’ has some wonderful objects to be discovered in the adjoining gardens on display. There’s everything from old glass bottles to carved limestone and even a slightly-creepy doll’s head. To see these artefacts, you’ll need to head there during one of the garden’s tours which are normally announced on Facebook.
Palazzo de La Salle
An art gallery rather than a museum, this building is worth visiting just for its architectural features. Also located on Republic Street, opposite Casa Rocca Piccola, here you’ll find some amazing artworks – both by well-known names, like Envin Cremona, as well as by more modern artists. The building is currently being renovated but still open to the public.