Visiting Villa Guardamangia
by Melanie Zammit
Cover photo by Continentaleurope
Visiting Villa Guardamangia enables you to walk in the same footsteps that were taken by Queen Elizabeth II during the period of time when it served as her residence. Today, the villa is considered to be a national treasure and a Grade 2 scheduled building by the Planning Authority.
Villa Guardamangia's architectural and historical value is immense. Extensive processes of restoration are being undertaken by Heritage Malta, bringing new life to the building and allowing the general public to access its beautiful interior.
The History of the Building
Built in the mid-18th century, and formerly known as Casa Medina, Villa Guardamangia is located in Pieta', and is a grand example of a classic Baroque summer residence. Between 1949 and 1951, when the Queen was still a princess, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, were welcomed in Malta. Today, the villa has become more commonly associated with royalty due to it serving as the dwelling for the royal family during their stay.
Prince Philip was stationed in Malta as an officer of the Royal Navy during this time, and Villa Guardamangia became the 'home', as the Queen herself fondly describes, that the royal couple had resided in. No other building can boast the same, as this villa is the only property outside of Great Britain where the royal family has lived in for a long period of time.
A Virtual Viewing Platform
Heritage Malta has organised a number of guided tours that have allowed the general public to set foot into the grand interior of Villa Guardamangia for the very first time. If you have missed out on these tours, however, you can still enter the villa through virtual means: A virtual tour has been set up on the Heritage Malta website, allowing you to take part in the virtual experience of viewing the beautiful interior of the villa.
Entering the villa allows you to view the intricate architecture of the building, and the beautiful design of its layout. Villa Guardamangia includes eighteen rooms, stables, a large garden, wells, a war-shelter and bunker, and many other facilities. Words do not do the building justice, however, and visiting the villa, through either physical or virtual means, will be an unforgettable and decidedly memorable experience.
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